SAD Transition

Fall season arrived with cooler weather, lots of rain, and shorter days — which also meant less sunlight — which makes me feel… so SAD. The SAD syndrome, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder is a common problem that affects many people. It’s not something that I think about and yet the SADness creeps up on me and makes me want to sing the blues. Living in the rainy Pacific Northwest definitely makes the situation more frequent for me. Although SAD is most common in the fall and winter because of the shorter daylight hours — the disorder can happen in other seasons as well. I know I feel the symptoms in the spring and summer when we have continuous cloudy, rainy days for weeks.

While I’m glad to know there is a scientific explanation and that I am not alone in this predicament — it is still frustrating to feel the affects of SAD. It alters the mood, metabolism and behavior in people. For me, I become very critical of my work and myself. This of course puts a damper on my creativity and motivation. It has been a few weeks since I’ve used my camera and I haven’t even wanted to look at it; hence the lack of activity for my blog the last couple of weeks. I woke up early this morning (3:00 a.m.) with the idea of posting some pictures from my archive collection, determined to overcome my SADness. But as I looked through my collections, I could feel the SADness overtaking my willpower. I didn’t like any of the pictures and of course my internal critic was being extra harsh about the quality. Feeling disgusted, I went back to bed but was unable to fall back to sleep. I lay there feeling guilty about not posting on my blog. After tossing and turning for couple of hours, I felt that I should at least make a post to let my readers know that I need to take a longer break. As I sat in front of the computer composing my post, the sun came out and cast a beautiful glow on the tree outside my office window. Somehow seeing the colorful autumn leaves dancing in the sunlight brought back my motivation. I thought I would take a picture of the tree and use it for today’s post. But something clicked after I took the first shot…

I took another…

And another… and another… each shot got meΒ  to think more creatively with the composition and lighting.

During the shooting process, I used the sunlight to my advantage. It was a great opportunity for creating interesting bokeh effects and shallow depth of field. I experimented with different exposures to capture the details and contrast of the leaves and colors. And the next thing I know, I shot over 100 images of the trees around my neighborhood.

While I’m not exactly 100% back to “Normal” but at least I feel better today than I have in the past few weeks. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend… happy shooting! πŸ™‚


32 Comments on “SAD Transition

  1. I go through the same thing every fall even though I live in the southern U.S. Your pictures are beautiful and make me smile on this rainy Alabama day. Thank you for sharing your photography and your thoughts.

    • The seasonal time change certainly doesn’t help the SAD situation. I find myself getting up earlier than usual since my body’s internal clock is still running on Spring time and then I find myself wanting to go to bed early.

      Thanks Sherry for the visit and comment. You have a very nice blog. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m late here…hope you’re doing alright Emily.
    Love these shots here. Looks bright and sunny…and I’m sure these will cheer up the viewers. Have you tried those goLITE BLU lights – personally I don’t have any experience but I’ve seen positive reviews on few websites.

    • I’m doing as well as I can be. I have tried the GoLite box but it didn’t seem to work for me. I think I just need to exercise. I know that when I used to exercise a lot, I didn’t feel the SAD symptoms as much, if any. Thanks for stopping by Sasi. I’m always happy to see you.

  3. I’m so sorry you’re been dealing with SAD, Emily–it stinks, I know from the long winters I used to experience growing up in the Northeast. I need a lot of sun, a lot of light–clearly you feel the same way about light, these photos are gorgeous! I’m glad you got out into the sun and took these beautiful images to brighten the rainy days, yours and mine! Best to you!

    • I used to believe that perhaps it’s because I was born on a tropical island and that’s why I need a lot of sun. But I think there is really no explanation… some people just need more light. Although, your wonderful compliment definitely brought a ray of sunshine to me. Thanks Suzy. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the compliment Cee. I’ve tried using both the grow light and also those special light box but… nothing works like the real sun. πŸ™‚

  4. Your photos AND! your story makes my soul sing! It is truly wonderful when we realise there is something larger than ourselves out there just waiting to offer up gifts. It is my hope that this post is read by millions and the message taken to heart. Truly remarkable, Emily.

  5. Every one (not only you) often feels sad. It’s natural I think.
    Walking around and taking photos make us relax and forget anxiety. πŸ™‚

  6. I remember the Seattle SAD Syndrome well. When I first moved there I couldn’t understand why people seemed to go insane on sunny days, running around like nuts and staying outside every possible minute. After 10 years there I totally get it. I’m sure you have lots of great shots in the archive that deserve their turn on the blog – looking forward to seeing what you find.

    • I noticed the same thing during my first summer living in Montreal, Quebec. People were constantly outdoors doing all kinds of activities. After my first winter experience, I understood completely the need for the crazy summer activities and triple pane windows.

  7. Sorry to hear that you are SAD. I dont get that way until Dec/Jan time when its dark before and after work and I dont get to see any sunlight 😦 They say you need 15mins to sun per day to keep it at bay. Its nice to book a trip around jan/feb time to have something to look forward to. Also, I’ve been considering getting one of those SAD lamps to fight it off. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing.


    • I think I got it earlier than usual because of the rainy, cold summer we had. It would be nice to book a trip somewhere nice and sunny… maybe I should give my sister a visit in Hawaii. Thanks for sharing your experience, Suzy. I hope the light box works out for you. πŸ™‚

  8. Here in Michigan, we have very similar weather to what you have in the Pacific Northwest, at least as far as winter clouds. I get SAD as well, not as much as some people, but I have a trick that helps me. It may sound silly, but I have a few photos that I took on bright sunny days with brilliant blue skies that I use wallpaper on my computer desktop. It may be cloudy outside for weeks on end, but at least seeing the wallpaper photos reminds me that the weather isn’t always like that, and it helps to cheer me up.

    • Your solution doesn’t sound silly at all. I feel energized every time I look at these photos I took of the leaves and did the same as you by using them on my desktop.

  9. For the first time this week the leaves have color. I usually don’t look for color in the city.. But, there you are. Looks like I’ll try for some NYC color this weekend. SAD, after we change back the clocks, it’s dark at 5PM. Can’t wait for 12/21 and then is starts to get better. Be well.

    • It has been years since I’ve been to NYC… but If my memory serves me correctly, I think Central Park does get some nice foliage colors in the fall. As for the time change… I don’t understand why they have to mess around with the clock. Now the clock in my car is an hour ahead until Spring…

  10. These are beautiful..Emily! Don’t be sad..I think we can all be hard on ourselves. I get overcome with discouragement at times and just want to give it up. Just know that you are missed when you don’t post..

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