Season’s shift

September 2020

Autumn has well and truly arrived along with some biting northern winds this morning. Whilst fairly hardy by nature ( northern lass! ), I did find myself woefully under-dressed for Saturday coffee at the market in the town square this weekend, hunkering on the sun-kissed end of a bench with my teacher friend and clinging to a hot mug for hand warmth. The temperature drop off was overnight and severe!

I confess, I was slightly peeved not to be photographing this weekend, since a good blustery family shoot session on The Witterings or at Hayling is a lot of fun in this weather. But, instead, used the time to edit, buy a new lens for an October commission and to return to The Weald & Downland Museum for a long overdue roam around after a great shoot there earlier in the September.

It has been a belter of a month for outdoor photography, long warm days and great conditions. I’ve captured several landscaped gardens in glorious golden sunlight, with the last of the summer flower-heads nodding and all the long grasses bleached by endless weeks of summer sunshine.

With Robert Wadman of New Barn Garden Design, it was a super, multi-level garden featuring a stunning Corden steel spacer wall, all rusted bronze colours, and locally made Wealden creaser tiles set off by purple polka clusters of verbena bonariensis, swathes of them, along with trailing rosemary and daisies.

Robert generously wrote some kind words too;

‘Sarah’s pictures capture the essence of the place beautifully. She has given me a generous choice of images to choose from – ranging from crisply detailed close-ups to grand panoramic views.’

For Graduate Landscapes, it was a revisit to a coastal garden which I’d previously photographed for them in winter sun, with migratory geese for company overhead and wearing all my thermal gear. Not necessary in balmy September, to capture the bold and bald, striking echinacea mingling with its hot pink and purple petalled friends.

Over at W&D, for group portraits, bleached wild meadow grasses in abundance plus a cottage garden laden with rosehips and teasel provided beautiful backdrops. This really is a fabulous place to visit, nestled at the foot of the Downland in Singleton, between Goodwood and West Dean College, with medieval buildings dotted right across the valley side with a watermill, tithe barns, a smithy, a treadwheel and a horse whim – you’ll have to pay a visit to discover for yourself what that is!

One photo I’ve included below, of a giant and bright yellow fungus, is not a commission but a wonderful foraged feast which, fried up with lots of fresh thyme from the garden and plenty of butter has been the taste highlight of the month for me. Called ‘chicken of the wood’ it’s dense and aromatic and thoroughly safe to eat. A proper treat and completely free!

And finally school resumed. That happened this month too. As a mum to four, I can’t fail to acknowledge this memorable & significant moment in this oddest of years. And so, to mark this event, a picture; meet Mr Lotus Legs here, my light test guy and youngest child. I pay him in grapes. They’re seedless too. And yet still he scowls this look back at me?.. his name is Jake and, though I do mostly photograph without an ‘assistant’, he has been known to accompany me on shoot this summer and has added value for his quips and one-liners if not for his test shot patience.

Wishing you well for the Autumn ahead and, if you’ve a need for photography, whether a brand update, a headshots refresh or to capture the family as they grow, get in touch for a casual chat; we can meet virtually or distanced in person, either way. Alternately, drop me a message via email to info@sarahsheldrake.co.uk

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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