Why Memories May Demand Intense Colors in your Autumn Photos

After I snapped a few pictures of the fall foliage in New England, I found myself unconsciously pushing the colors to the max when I edited these photos. I think I may know why…

There’s something intoxicating about my memories from autumns long gone. I feel in one way or another, they’re connected to the intense colors that surround the fall season in New England. I was up in Litchfield County in Connecticut this past weekend, and I was surrounded by all of the peak foliage. And as I drove, I felt transported back in time to my high school years as a young student at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT.

The color of the leaves. The sunlight poring through them. The brisk fall air. It was a reality-bending experience.

And of course, I snapped a few nature pictures with my iPhone XS Max in an attempt to capture that feeling.

But when I reviewed my photos later, they lacked the truly deep colors and dreamlike quality that my mind had created to reflect that time in my life.

As I worked through the photos in Adobe Lightroom, I found myself unconsciously pushing the color index. I made the reds of the leaves redder, and the blue fall sky even bluer. I wasn’t happy until the colors almost began dripping off of my computer screen.

I created a series of images that I don’t think you’d actually find anywhere in New England today, but they still feel entirely real to me. The forced colors connected me back to another time in my life that clearly still speaks to me today.

Using Color to Connect to your Past
What is reality anyway? The present may be easier to quantify, but the past is always in flux, because of how we remember… or choose to remember it.

Memory has its own set of rules, and today… I simply followed that direction without really understanding it.

And if that means pushing the colors to an intensity beyond nature’s capability, then I’ve given myself permission to do exactly that.

If you ever experience a similar impulse, I highly recommend you give it a try…