Winter Weeds

So it’s February and you know what that means. Winter weeds and minimalism.

We are getting more snow today – about 4 inches of new powder, so I’m hoping to get out for more again soon, but here is what I’ve done so far this season.

First some asters in the yard. They are only about 1 cm wide and I just loved the arrangement of the flowers on this stem as well as the curling leaves. We often think of flowers in the context of food for pollinators, but look at how the seeds have been picked out of every blossom. Something (or somethings) found them tasty. They are one of the last flowers that blooms and I think these were pale yellow or cream colored and the harmonious shading in their death shroud extends their beauty. Believe it or not this is a single image and handheld. In winter the conditions are better for that so I’ll often take the camera off the tripod because it allows for more flexibility in terms of composition.

Different asters taken in a different month with cloudier conditions, but oh, that texture. And gravity-defying snow! This is also handheld and a single photo. I know that the “perfect camera” probably doesn’t exist, but oh the G9 comes close. I don’t think I’d have gotten this so easily without focus peaking being available in autofocus. Recently I had a conversation with a person who uses a brand new camera from a different manufacturer and focus peaking is only available in manual focus. What? Really? That’s crazy! It’s just bright pixels overlaid on the image…why the limitation? Very strange, but makes me happy with what I have. I find it a big help with lots of different subjects.

Those of you who have always lived in wintery climes know that snow is not ever truly white. It reflect the sun, the sky and objects nearby, so I’ve been trying to find ways to capture and edit scenes that show a little color. I find it changes the feel of the photo and can go a long way to emphasize a particular aspect of mood depending on what you want to convey. The photo above and below were taken on the same day with slightly different cloud cover. The difference is pretty stark and I think that is an important aspect to photos like this where the subject is so alone in an expanse of snow. How does your perception and emotion change with each image?

Save no soul

Oh and another goldenrod gall! These were everywhere in this meadow, but this one was nicely isolated and had a few leaves that I could separate from each other by repositioning the camera. You would have laughed to see me kneeling around in the snow. If you haven’t gone out to play in the snow in a while, get out there. Nothing else makes you feel so much like a kid again!

This next one was a bit of a challenge, both to line up and compose in the field and in processing to get a more compelling photo that is a bit of a brain bender. Not sure if you can see what I did, but I like it and the color of the snow again. With the sun coming through some wispy clouds it has strength enough to bring up shadows and modeling, but it’s not so harsh that we have such extreme contrast. It’s my favorite winter light.

Every little bit hurts

Did you think there wouldn’t be leaves? Oh boy, were there leaves! But that’s for next time.


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