Warmth of the Sun, Amherst

I shot this picture as the sun broke through the clouds to bath the field and trees in weak late afternoon sunlight. The horse and pasture in yesterday’s post are just to the left of this scene. Both shots were taken from the backyard of my friend Kate’s home in Amherst. Kate chose the quiet beauty of this locale to settle in after her years in China. The welcome contrast between the tranquility of this Pioneer Valley landscape and the stress, congestion, noise and politics not of the good kind we both experienced living in Beijing could not be more stark.

This photo was taken in mid-September just as the trees in central Massachusetts were beginning to turn color. I was not able to organize my trip to arrive when the autumn colors were peaking. No complaint, just an observation. The fact is I love visiting this part of New England at any time of the year.


At the Entrance to Ta Prohm

This photo was taken standing just outside of the entrance to the Ta Prohm temple, called the Tomb Raider temple by many because it was a location in the film of that name. Sunlight breaking through the overcast sky provides dramatic lighting for the trees against a background of dark, threatening rain clouds. Angkor Wat and the surrounding countryside are in the middle of the annual rainy season featuring almost daily rain showers, steamy humidity, and enervating heat.

I had a 20mm lens mounted on the camera. I love this lens – another superb piece of equipment by Nikon – but the distortion caused by the very wide angle of the lens limits the situations where it can be used effectively. In this photo, I think the distortion adds tension to the composition and this enhances the already dramatic lighting.