The Art of Winter Photography
A lot of nature photographers hibernate in winter. I used to be one of them, but no longer. There’s a lot of beauty to be found if you pay attention and look for it. And having the right gear helps, too. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing choices. And always remember to overexpose your winter scenes – about a stop depending on the light, but at least that.
Two of my outings had me looking for the small scenes, which are easier to find in the snow. If you find that it’s too much to do this in the full sprawl of summer, maybe try during the fallow season or in the snow to get a feel for what to look for. Simplicity was the key for me and I think it is for a lot of winter photography. It’s easy to lose depth in blankets of white, so you have to make it work for you. Here are some examples of what I mean –
My preoccupation with ferns is well known, so how could I resist these beauties? Rock cap fern is one of the few species that stays green all winter and so the color is just perfect against newly fallen snow. These were on a boulder trailside. Most of these shots were handheld, which I don’t do often, but like the spontaneity it gives me. It’s like, woo hoo! shoot any way you want.
Of course, color is at a premium during the winter months, but it is there, subtle, but there. When there wasn’t much snow on the ground, many wildflowers were still visible and even though I don’t know what this one is, its beauty lingers.
Isn’t it great? I especially love the different shades of white in snow. Basically whatever the color of the sky, will be reflected there. Another wildflower still putting a brave face on it are pink lady slippers. Not all of them produce seed pods, so I love finding them, especially in snow.
Then you hard core minimalists, there is monochrome. Because so much of winter photography is about contrasts and form, black and white is a natural choice to emphasize both. Just be sure you have actual black and white, otherwise you’ll lose a lot of vitality in your images.
Freezing temps and running water can be endlessly fascinating and totally worth getting some cold toes.
So that’s some of what I’ve been up to lately. Sorry for being a really bad blogger.