Seasons… a common occurrence around the world. Where I live on the east coast of the USA, I get to experience all 4 of them. While taking photos around the US and abroad, I have mingled, interacted and shared with people from all over. The discussions included favorite places, and fantastic lighting, to name a few, but most times it invariably ended when we delved into places and times that are closest to what we call home.
My home, which is located in the middle of a state forest in south Jersey, is one such place and this year my season of choice is inescapably winter. The frigid cold mornings, that brought frost and fog also opened my minds eye to every subtle optical shade of this season, and was without compare. I say ‘was’ in a whisper, as to not invoke the wrath of mother nature’s possible late spring snow… AGAIN. The change in temperature, the leaves gone and the first signs of ice on the ponds and lakes, helps slow down my busy life. I await the first snow like a child but, for a very different reason. Snow, that comes at night, is as haunting as it is soothing when I walk and bathe in its silence. The perfect snow for me is the one that happens during the daylight hours, for this is when I get to play. This year brought many different kinds of storms… wet sloppy, large flaky and mind-blowing sideways. The light that was hidden during a storm, when caught early enough, gave off just the right amount of color to make one want to stay and capture its ever fading hues.
I created this blog post as a kind of peace-offering to the weather gods. First to say thank you for letting my camera catch every subtle shade this season had to offer but also to pray I do not have to shovel my plowed in drive way for another third time in a single DAY!!!!!
Peace ‘Mother Nature’… I still love your “COOL” sense of humor.
Besides the obvious cold… winter can be magical. It’s mesmerizing to see how frost can capture nature in frigid moments. You can get lost in all the icy mosaics that are formed in trees and fields while, ponds and lakes take on a more abstract look. The swirls and bubbles that are frozen in time make for very creative patterns. Where I live, snow fall can be elusive as it comes in either knee-deep drifts, or a lite dusting. Its silent presence is breath-taking, in more ways than one. I find the experience of shooting during a snowfall to be very different then that of shooting the aftermath. Fresh snow seems to evoke a quiet, eerie otherworldly feeling. The size and rate of its descent can also have a dramatic effect on a composition so much so that, the final photograph can turn out very different then what was originally seen.
How do you capture this feeling in a photograph? Do you show the romantic side or its twisted finale. I found I could not choose. Just as my feelings and moods change, so do the cold frozen moments that materialize in front of my lens. I must eventually rely on form and contrast to guide me. It is helpful to stop and take it all in, feel the tiny flakes melt on your face, let your breath fog things up—- eventually you experience a more visual energy. I, like my subjects, also feel the cold settle in and slow my movements. My time here is done, but my photographs will hopefully freeze this time of year for all to relive as…. we patiently count the days till the vernal equinox.