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Autumn marathon
russian version

Somewhere in the bowels of the passed year we began to discuss that would be nice to make pictures in the parks, especially at autumn. Because it is so... so special. It is ridiculous to say, but for nearly a dozen years of life in the "Northern capital" I never managed to visit anyone of the famous local suburbs. Not mention Pushkin or Pavlovsk, I have seen Peterhof in detail just only on the screen when Elena brought home the camera with filled flashcard. But even after this two winters have passed, before I was mature enough to my own discoveries. Born interest for all unknown spurred my lazy ass to open the door... Stop looking at other people's pictures - it's time to see things for yourself, without intermediaries!

Autumn is perhaps the most beautiful time of the year. At no other season you can see such a variety of different colors and their shades, and this is easily possible in one place at one time. Obviously the beauty is in abundance where there is a lot of vegetation. Therefore, it is nature. But everyday life does not let to often visit any parks, and knowing how capricious is local weather, it may happen that destiny will offer a rare treat at just a couple of days in a year. So I decided to take my legs and run an autumn marathon at known parks. Because the park is the same nature but only with limits. The choice is not rich, and still I need time to earn money to live. So, the simplest possible solution is to crawl out of home before sunrise, because sunsets now are quite early. And so I can  walk in the morning calm, breathe autumn air, at the same time to shoot something and still have time to work after. And every day, or rather morning, we dug our helpless bodies from the wilds of blankets and left the house against all the odds.
So, let's go step by step...

  • Pavlovsk

Monday. Excellent day to start, but... it was only one day when we were not going anywhere in the morning. I don't remember even why. Most likely happened a quite typical problem - it is difficult to make a decisive first step, especially that intends to enter into the daily rhythm of sleepy, movement, creation, and searching powers in the depths of own emaciated body. And here we had first news from Ilya, who solemnly announced to us that yellow leaves are confidently declared themselves. And it means starttime, and start not to preplan, but to go out and keep the path. And so, not to lose precious time, I asked to leave the office earlier and went to Pavlovsk. Along the way two Sergeys joined me. Half an hour by train and we are almost there. Ilya's kindness knows no boundaries, and we going in his car from the station to the park gate. And here it is autumn! And soft evening sunlight still plays on yellow leaves. But while we were reaching the desired viewpoints, the sunlight just went out. And our enthusiasm had cooled down. So already without much energy we scattered in all directions within sight. I was walking, shooting, fabricating. It became getting dark, the Palace illuminated - it's time to finish. And here we go all together towards the exit, when suddenly I catched myself observing the place I have photographed today, but now it looks kinda interesting. Attune the tripod, guys patiently waiting for a little at some distance near the bridge, that I use in my frame. And suddenly Sergey lighted by a cell phone one of the statues, I made a few takes, so others picked up the idea, and now all the centaurs "intensified". Actually then, while we're selecting good photos, this picture stayed out of competition, and we said "no" to others.


  • Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo)

Tuesday. Second step. Already much easier. Arise somewhere at 05:30. We settled with Ilya on the eve that we are going to his native Pushkin, or more precisely - to "Tsarskoye Selo". This place of course needs no introduction. Everything is decorum, noble here, but not sugary. It should be noted that at summer we with Elena made several tries of exploration: visited Pushkin, Pavlovsk and Gatchina with the purpose of my acquaintance with the landscape and the evaluation of its photographic potential for the future. As it turned out later, i.e. now, though it became easier to navigate the terrain, but the were no sense to glean the points of view for autumn. Because the light and now is no less important the color - play a crucial role in capturing the attention of the observer and, accordingly, when the photographer choosing the angle. In Pushkin all of it immediately became apparent. In the morning was clouded over.


In this case, as it was yesterday, all the scenes look quite sadly: the "Golden autumn" is not seen, even though she's somewhere here, nearby, directly alongside. But everything changes, and this morning wasn't exception. Clouds became "pulled", gleams in the sky shone, faces of our company (the same company as yesterday) also brightened - born the hope of good lighting.


And it happened: the first timid rays of soft fresh sun began to caress the landscape, the shutter of our cameras cracked together. Walking became more cheerful, we scattered in different directions, each in searching of their frames.


Soon our group was thinned: Serg D took what he wanted and he still have many business, Ilya went to office work, left only me and Sergey Louks. We went further. Now everything is bathed in warmth and everywhere you look you are surrounded by beauty-e-e.


Half an hour ago here were completely different conditions. And now everything rings, glows, golden foliage tremble on the branches and swim by the wind, flying away forever. This place struck me as particularly poetic, and I remembered the line of Pushkin: "A melancholy time! So charming to the eye!" I don't remember more, but already at home, knocking now this text on the keyboard, I decided to refresh the memory. And you know, I was stunned: Alexander Sergeevich is incredibly good. So neatly, so simple, and yet so subtly and in the essence to express what the heart experiencing. A.S. Pushkin without doubt was a genius!

A melancholy time! So charming to the eye!
Your beauty in its parting pleases me -
I love the lavish withering of nature,
The gold and scarlet raiment of the woods,
The crisp wind rustling o'er their threshold,
The sky engulfed by tides of rippled gloom,
The sun's scarce rays, approaching frosts,
And gray-haired winter threatening from afar.


  • Gatchina

Middle of the week. Resuscitation, admission calories, the beginning of bipedalism - all by scheme. Only this time even earlier. Because Gatchina is far away, and we want to come there till sunrise, although it's difficult task - all butt-jointed. This time took the way only two of us: Serg D and me. On the road I remembered that AlexDarkside asked to call him if we going to his native Gatchina - wrote sms. During talking passed an hour. Arrived really to a tag. Surprisingly looked at each other - somewhere in the sky there are clouds, but in St. Petersburg there were not. Okay, such even better: maybe something will intensify. And, it's impossible! At our eyes the picture changes so no time to blink. We skipping along to the Palace in the park. Nothing to go from a busstop, no distance and we are even running. And even in that short time, what only didn't float before our eyes there, on high. If short, we ran from the side of the railway station inside the gate of the park, to the right is a pond, to the left - the palace. And all could be great if only in such twisting, seconds are melting and clouds flying away with them, the complete confusion appears: what to shoot?! And Serg (attaboy!) reveals his skills and hop over the... well, in general, he is at unusual "point". I not thinking and repeat the same. And here we are, at an unexpected place with the same view. Whirling, stood here and there - everything is somehow obscure. And by the way, last remains dragged from heaven. But quite a bit, remnants, scraps of spacious (even in this recent past) heavenly blankets we took off.


The funny thing is that in the midst of all these dances AlexDarkside calls me and says: "There's hoo! Ahh! Now I'll run up to you". And appears to full height in front of us like this: "Well done! Even here you managed to 'roof'! And cool sunshine! I'm in a hurry to wirk! Wait, let me make a picture of you to the phone..." I thought, Serg would fling a tripod in him! But managed without. Alex was in a hurry, so the situation was as fluent as everything else.  By the way, tomorrow he will capture the presence of satisfied Turukhano on the background of the Priorate Palace with the words "broadcast regular morning news from the Gatchina Park..."


In Gatchina was great. Even in summer I noticed that I like it especially, and now with juicy colors..


Simple, small scenes, which are easily considered to be banal from the onlooker, with own experience becoming something inexplicable touching and personal.




In inspired mood I knocked about here, forgetting about the time, with joyful soul of this Golden autumn.


Somehow here happened the peak of excitement and classic colors. That's why photos from here are more.


And if not pragmatic (but tactful) Serg D, my work office could probably lost me that day.


  • Peterhof

Thursday. Scheme is far from perfect but still in working condition. Here came Serg D, IlyaSt and I. First one did not want to visit the world famous "Russian Versailles" at all but, remembered the local Cathedral outside the Palace&Park ensemble, after all decided.


And it should be noted, he was damn right: the Cathedral with unoriginal name quite originally fit into the surrounding landscape. And since between the opening of the state museum reserve "Peterhof" and sunrise we had a whole hour, we took some pictures around Olga's pond.


And then we came just in time for the opening of the Museum. Here I was confused: nothing attracted my attention. I shot panorama with the Grand Cascade rather for show, and "see" nothing more at all. Serg apparently knew it and made his way immediately in searching of the notorious scenes and solitude, and together with Ilya we slowly combed the countryside. And interestingly there is so much magnificence, everything is clean, well-groomed, bright and royally, but to shoot not pulls well. In general I quickly remembered that Elena managed to shoot the whole day here in 2012. And I sincerely then was f.. say, surprised. Being there myself I realized that in order to shoot Peterhof it need especially to contrive. I was walking to places that I remember in those pictures, and ceased not to extol first half EGRA behind her back.


I was not inspired by the place, it is strange it or not I don't know... But, by the way, one scene somehow excited me. Probably still combined graphics and light, and most importantly - simplicity.


  • Oranienbaum

Friday. And here I got very much pleasure. Despite the fact that last eve my proposal to go there was rejected by everybody who walked through the parks with me before. And though they motivated their refusal each different, but the overall message was very clear: there is nothing to catch. I did not have to seek out special interest, it just gradually woke up himself.


And surely there is nothing supernatural in comparison with other places where I was brought this week. Besides, for the first time in this marathon I was alone. This, of course, dispose to a completely different pace, both walking and photography.


In general, I lingered here decently. There was even no good light really. And still I was hooked, loved. Apparently, also about Elena's relationships with the Peterhof.



Among other things in Oranienbaum I got a kind of termination: I implemented, scheduled to a week, list of the most desirable objects.


Overall I am very satisfied in how lasted this time: it was fun. And this is more interesting than just to sleep for a couple more hours, as usual. It's funnily, but for these bright five days I saw and felt Petersburg's autumn more than the last 9 years.

And even if to consider that a lot could be repeated, more thoughtfully, would or could be shot or re-shot, catch the light and different states of such unstable pore, the specified distance like a kind of marathon had an interest for me in a vector form for a certain period. Also in life we more trying to argue, spending a lot of time for ratiocinate, while sometimes we can just start and make and finish. And it does not matter in principle, if the result is bad or good, because everything is relative, and to the result or to the process of achieving there can be found 8 billions opinions. But none of them is as important, correct and clear, as a voice of your own heart.

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