Sympathetic Lightning Blog Post #1: The Autumn Leaves of the Upper Peninsula

In our first-ever blog post, owner Sara Century details her time learning to use her new camera over the summer and autumn months in the Upper Peninsula.

Sara Century

11/25/20233 min read


Sara Century here. Thanks for reading the Sympathetic Lightning blog. For now, these are going to be personal stories about some of the photos/videos I've been working on. The subject matter of these blogs will encapsulate my product/portrait photography businesses as well as my more casual street and nature photos/videos and my work in narrative and documentary film. I live in a house with many pet cats and rabbits, so you may see some of those along the way as well. Oh, look, here's one now!

I wanted to kick this off with some photos of the autumn leaves. Sure, most of what I do professionally is product and portrait based, but the way I practiced up enough to start that business was by taking these nature photos. I learned so much about the basics of my then-recently purchased Fujifilm X-T3. This ended up being such a great camera it deserves its own blog post, but we'll get to that another time.

I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, so that means I am pretty much surrounded by nature. As such, going on long walks during the Spring/Summer/Autumn months helped me a lot when it came to improving my photography skills. Going from a pretty basic DSLR (that, to be fair, I absolutely loved) to a camera with so many different setting options was a learning curve, so having the space to work it out while enjoying nature was essential. Now I know this Fuji inside and out and I'm all the better for it.

There are a ton of photos online that focus on grand overhead shots of the most majestic landmarks around. For me, the thing I most appreciated was being up close and personal with the trees and plantlife, so those are the kind of photos I was taking. Most of these were within a couple of miles of where I live. I have lived in some cities like Denver and Minneapolis, so I couldn't help but think this trajectory would have been totally different in either place due to having completely different environments to photograph. In any scenario, though, the most important thing would have been getting out and dedicating regular time to the craft.

During the winter, I'll be primarily working on finding product and portrait photo/video clients, but I'll be sure to reserve plenty of time to suit up and wander around snapping pictures in the snow. But for now, I'm thinking of what a good move all those nature walks were during the warmer months. Every place I've ever been to had its own unique beauty, and that's the same for the nature walks here. My progression as a photographer will have always started with these shots, so I'll always connect my business with this place and the space to grow that it granted me.

Thanks for checking out the blog! We're off to a pretty good start, in my humble opinion. Tune in every couple of weeks for new posts, and/or sign up for the newsletter to get updates. You will also be able to listen to the first season of my photo/video podcast very soon. I plan on talking a lot about product and portrait photo/video going forward, but for now, enjoy these landscape photos, and we'll chat again soon.