The end of summer

Saturday, September 19, 2015 - St. Januarius

Mountains, in my opinion, are at their best in late June / July, when their meadows are shining with blossoming flowers, woods are echoing with birds' songs, cattle and sheep are enjoying again high altitude pastures - in a word, life is at the very top of its cycle, the exact opposite of the long winter sleep. But the high-altitude summer splendour lasts for just a few weeks, as at the end of July large brown patches are already gaining space at the expense of the green meadows. Those places are still very pleasant throughout August and September, but you are left with the impression that the peak of the show is over; and nothing new is happening.

At the middle of September high pastures are already almost entirely yellow/brown, while most of trees are still predominantly green. But you feel that something is going to change, since the first yellow leaves are appearing, as well as the first yellow larch branches.

La fin de l'été.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 57 mm, 1/40 sec @ ƒ/8, +1.00 EV, ISO 400, hand-held.

La fin de l'été.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 36 mm, 1/30 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 200, hand-held.

Birds are still populating the woods, but they are mostly silent. In the higher meadows, marmots are no more playful, too concentrated in eating and accumulating the last portions of grease before going into hibernation. It's a sort of suspended world, waiting for something to happen.

Mélèze et rochers.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 16 mm, 1/30 sec @ ƒ/8, -0.70 EV, ISO 100, hand-held.

Le Gyr à Ailefroide.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 30 mm, 1/5 sec @ ƒ/11, +0.30 EV, ISO 100, Kirk Enterprises Windows Mount laying on a bridge railing.

Sheep are starting the downward transhumance, moving to middle altitudes where there's some green grass still, enough for the short intermediate stops in the journey towards the valley bottom.

Le troupeau et son berger.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 61 mm, 1/200 sec @ ƒ/8, +0.30 EV, ISO 100, hand-held.

La fin de l'été à Laval.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 35 mm, 1/160 sec @ ƒ/8, +0.70 EV, ISO 100, hand-held.

Storms are quite common in the Alps throughout the whole summer, but they are usually quick and without consequences. Now they have a different personality, an anticipation of what will come in the very next weeks, bringing the first snow also at medium altitude.

Averse de fin d'été.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 34 mm, 1/640 sec @ ƒ/8, -2.00 EV, ISO 100, hand-held, HDR from three frames.

Tramonto con nuvole sul Colle della Maddalena.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 21 mm, 1/40 sec @ ƒ/8, +0.70 EV, ISO 100, hand-held.

More photos from this session are available in the diary.