I think the appropriate saying is, “In like a Lion; out like a Lamb.” It doesn’t happen that often here in Michigan. More often, just when we start seeing and hearing Robins, Red Winged Blackbirds, and the pale green shoots of Crocuses and Daffodils popping through the soil, Winter reminds us that its not done with us yet. Oh, well, it is Michigan.
Winter reminds us that its not done with us yet
I like hackneyed sayings. Another favorite of mine is “make lemonade from lemons.” So, while I am certainly ready for Spring, I have also been lamenting all Winter how difficult it is to get motivated to get out and shoot, and how seldom I find worth subjects near home.
Our recent Winter storm created the perfect conditions for snow photography in my view. Recent temperatures had reached the low 60’s and the Winter weather system was preceded by rain, coating everything with a base that made it very receptive to the snow storm that came through, bringing much lower temperatures (eventually in the ‘teens). We ended up with a fresh, white, thick coating on virtually every surface, which lasted a couple days before the sun finally burned things off. I decided to get my unmotivated backside out and try to shoot.
As I noted in my previous blog, for artists, snow can be a wonderful “treatment” to cure many problems with scenes. While it often creates a monochromatic look, it also covers clutter and otherwise unsightly foreground elements and “busy” details that are undesirable in photographs. At the same time it can add texture, color and interest to otherwise plain elements in a photograph (perhaps most notably, bare tree branches). And, sometimes, the very texture of snow, itself, can add interest to an image.
I am also often intrigued by the shadow play on the plain white surface, which probably wouldn’t be seen on a less reflective or less bright surface. Sadly, I work for a living :-), though a friend recently asked me if “being a lawyer was just a hobby.” Wouldn’t that be nice? But because I work, and because people expect me to be there during the week, and because nature doesn’t seem to have the courtesy to check my calendar, I cannot always get out when conditions are right.
With these photos, I broke my number 2 rule of photography: Always shoot from a tripod. But at least I followed my number 1 rule: Always carry a camera and when a shot presents itself, use the best equipment you have with you (the great irony here is that I more often break my first rule than my second :-(). Dressed in coat and tie and dress shoes, I wasn’t really in a position to climb around in 4 in deep snow, so I did the next best thing, bracing my camera on the car window sill and using my VR at faster shutter speeds. Would like to have had the time to set up and work these scenes properly.
Maybe there will be a day when the law “hobby” isn’t so demanding.