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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Positions and Practice – Peer Commissioned Micro Project

This week I was commissioned by a peer, Simon Fremont:-

“Jo your brief should you choose to accept it is…

It is Autumn in New England which is famous for it’s rich colours. Show an alternative view of Autumn in the Olde World.

This message will over expose in 30 seconds. Good Luck Jo.”

Initial Thoughts

After receiving the brief, my first thoughts were to photograph an old cottage surrounded that I have passed many times on my travels.  I considered adding a fairy or two to the scene to represent the olde world.  However, on reflection I decided this would be quite an obvious interpretation for me.

The micro project happened to coincide with a recent group shoot and my editing of the images from that.  So to fulfil the brief in an alternative way, I decided to tell the story of summer fighting with autumn for control of nature, with autumn being victorious.  I was reminded of the poem below, particularly the part where the poet says that ‘her fighting spirit gives way’.

Dying wish The end of summer has finally come the lily lies lonely in the torturous sun a last wish before life her leaves to multiply again after winter’s release.

Gently she lays down her lily white head this hard earth, her final bed. Bright white color slowly draining away Breathing labored, she fades to grey.

Her fighting spirit gives way to death her seconds are numbered, short in length A wish is whispered to the deity of blooms to once again blossom with the summer moon…

The Rambler On The Go 

In Greek mythology, the Horae were the goddesses of the seasons.  They first appeared in the Iliad and there were three of them – Spring, Summer and Autumn.  In the mythology, they work together in harmony with no conflict between them.  This is where my story differs.

The Story Behind the Images

On a gloriously sunny day in late October, Summer and Autumn meet by a beautiful pool.  The leaves on the trees are yet to change colour.  Summer is dressed in the white of the lilies; Autumn is dressed in the colour of darkness.  Autumn has come to challenge Summer for control of nature.  Summer refuses and so a battle ensues.  After a prolonged period of time, Summer’s fighting spirit gives way and she relinquishes control to Autumn.

The Editing Process

The first three images of Summer and Autumn battling it out were shot at ISO 400, f4 and 1/5000. To get close enough and to get the angle I wanted, I was stood knee deep in freezing cold water!

The final image of a triumphant Autumn was shot at ISO 400 f4 and 1/400.  Light balance for all images was set to cloudy, even though the shoot time was very sunny and bright.  This added warm tones to the images.

The images were loaded into Lightroom for cropping only.  No other adjustments were made to the images.  The cropped images were placed into polaroid type frames in Photoshop to help the olde world aesthetic.  These images were transferred back to Lightroom, where I applied an Instagram type filter (called Gingham) to enhance the olde world look further.  The filter applied has muted the tones a little and adds to the aged effect.  The whole editing process (including image selection) took around 90 minutes.


Figure 1: Sutherst. Summer and Autumn meet.  Summer considers Autumn’s request to hand over the control of nature. 2016


Figure 2: Sutherst. When Summer refuses to relinquish control, a fierce battle takes place between the goddesses. 2016


Figure 3: Sutherst. After some time, Autumn proves the stronger one and seizes victory.  Summer offers control of nature to her. 2016


Figure 4: Sutherst. Autumn stands victorious and nature is set off down the path towards Winter. 2016


I have really enjoyed working with Simon’s brief for this project.  It was fun to tell a story with a few images.

I have enjoyed experimenting with different Instagram type filters to give an aged look.  I am pleased with the outcome and hope that my client is too.


Poem from Hello Poetry. 2016. Dying wish by Rambler On The Go – Hello Poetry. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 05 November 2016 ].

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