Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Winter Photography


Two years ago, we had one of the worst winters here in Michigan that I can remember since I was a kid. I think most of us in the midwest and northeast remember the term "polar vortex". It snowed for weeks on end, storm after storm, temperatures always hovering around zero.


That winter kept me inside, and I hated it.


Last year I was determined to not let winter beat me again, so I invested in high quality long underwear, a long down-filled coat, and new snow resistant pants to go over my long underwear. I had a warm hat, good mittens and the ever important neck gator. I was ready for winter. I was not going to be held hostage inside my house again. I went out at least once a week, if not more, to photograph. Sometimes with my dSLR, but mostly with my iPhone (the fingers don't get as cold using the iPhone). I got a lot of great winter shots, and came to appreciate the beauty of the blank white canvas, and bare tree branches against a gun metal gray sky. I fell in love with winter photography. Notice I did not say I fell in love with winter, that is a work in progress.


This year a El Nino winter is forecast, supposedly warmer and drier than in recent years. I am hopeful but not unrealistic, winter is still winter in Michigan. None the less,  I still have the same good quality clothing and the same determination to get out and photograph that I had last year.


Two weeks ago we had a lovely winter afternoon; blue skies, bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid-30's, no wind. I set off for a recently discovered county park with my Canon dSLR. My daughter and I had been there a month earlier and at that time I had only my iPhone with me, but I knew I wanted to go back with my big camera. I was not disappointed.


The willow trees across the river from the park were what drew me back with my big camera. I wanted to try out some of my new Topaz Labs processing software.


Winter no longer holds me hostage, and I am ever grateful for this hobby of photography that gives me reason to venture out in any kind of weather.

30 comments:

  1. Beautiful - even in is monotone colors. I need to follow your example more often.............

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  2. Love the soft golden and brown tones with bits of icy blue. You really do know how to make the best of winter, Sarah. Kudos to you!

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  3. Beautiful! Winter is my favorite time to be outside. Of course, we don't get quite the winter you do, but it still gets cold. In the mid twenties the last few mornings and mornings are when I'm usually out. Staying inside just isn't an option to me. So glad you love to bundle up and explore, because I love going with you!! Love the shot of the golden willow tree!

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  4. Very late Fall, all Winter and early Spring are my favorite times to be outside.. Living in a subtropical region means that the rest of the time deal with hot and humid weather for the other 6 or 7 months out of the year, lol..

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  5. "Winter has its own hidden treasures to be found by those who wear long underwear!" lol but in all seriousness- it really does. And you've got tenacity to go find winter's beauty.

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  6. Kelly summed you up to a tee....tenacious and I love this about you. Your determination to get outside with your camera regardless of the weather and get those wonderful shots that we enjoy so much.

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  7. I'm afraid winter does still rather hold me hostage, though I do try to get outside even if it's only for a few minutes and I don't stray too far from my door. When it's really cold, though, my Nikon is useless. For some reason, the meter won't work properly when the thermometer drops below 32F. Thank goodness for my iPhone, which in spite of its photographic limitations never lets me down!

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  8. Beautiful photos . . .
    Texture
    Color
    Clarity
    and
    Snow

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  9. I like winter photography - it's so contemplative. You see the bare bones of the earth more clearly. I see the river isn't frozen yet.

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  10. I guess I should invest in warmer clothes. Good for you for not being held hostage.

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  11. You are going to love Topaz Adjust. I need to suck it up and head out in the cold - as much as I hate all the snow and cold from last winter, some of my favorite pictures of the year were from going to the park in the snow.

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  12. You're really prepared this year with your warm layers of clothing. You got some really pretty shots showing off the simplicity of winter scenes.

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  13. I have to agree with you...I love winter photography but I don't love winter. The willow trees were definitely worth a second trip. Gorgeous!

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  14. Having the right clothing makes all the difference doesn't it? It changes everything. Wonderful photos!

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  15. I savor this as something to draw inspiration from. I'm very much a hostage this year, and last year I was too.. we had little snow but terrible temps. Little by way of things drawing me out in them. (Usually I revel in deep snow.)
    The past week or two we've woke to temps been -20 to -30 and it's not risen above zero most days, but stayed well below. The air hurts! ;) I need to find something that inspires me enough to motivate me to get out there.
    Loving your winter shots!!

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  16. My recent snowy walks have convinced me of the same thing: that I won't let weather keep me from getting outside with my camera. Being cold isn't one of my favorite things, but I'm determined to get past that. Bring on the down coat and long underwear! I love these new photographs... snow brings such a beautiful atmosphere to the landscape, doesn't it?

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  17. Sarah, You've given me just the encouragement I need for today as snow is in our forecast. I will bundle up and go outdoors and love winter for simply being winter. Your photographs are crisp and bright- as though I walked outside with you. Congratulations on your photo and essay in Rural magazine, too! Love your work!

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  18. Hi, Sarah. This morning we had -20 °C (which equals to -4 °F), all trees and grass and fences... were covered in snow and frost, and while driving home in the afternoon I was thinking about how long it's been since I was shooting something in winter, especially something further than a few (hundred) metres from our house. Walking when it's cold suddenly doesn't seem appealing enough but when it's not cold, there is no snow and no beautiful winter sceneries... You've found the right answer and I'm so pleased I came here today and read about your experience, that's what I needed to hear. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  19. Hi Sarah, I agree the key is what you wear. I just got a pair of snow shoes and looks like tomorrow we will be getting a big storm so I might be able to try them out. It is so nice not being trapped inside... enjoy!

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  20. I've also began to love winter this year. I have been out walking my dog since the middle of November. I am not taking photographs but enjoying the crisp cool look of the Mountains in their snowy splendor or the sight of soaring hawks off in the distance. Good cold weather clothing is a must, I have been collecting new things the past couple years. Love seeing your photos and hearing your story. I am originally from Michigan but have been in Idaho the past 20 years. I've loved reading your blog.

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  21. I am so glad that you and winter are becoming friends, Sarah!
    As is the case here in NY, winters in Michigan can be very long and cold.
    Too long to not get out and get some beautiful photographs.
    Like you did here!

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  22. Perfect weather blue skies and crisp underfoot. My part of the world we get wet and windy and an occasional snowy spell which we are never prepared for !

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  23. Your images are always to lovely. Even though snow is cold...I really love photographing it. Always love coming to visit.

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  24. Dear Sarah, I just found you blog and very much like what I see and read. I'm looking forward to visiting it often. Greetings from Turku, Finland.

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  25. Winter wonderland always provides a great photo shoot. Enjoy, Sarah! Aloha...

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  26. Hello Sarah, I too have just found your blog. These photos are beautiful. Polly from the UK

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  27. I am a winter lover, and purely because every day is different through this season both with colour and different ways of looking at the landscape. Foggy, icy, snowy, rainy, there are so many different elements, and as long as you have dressed for the day and have a nice flask of hot tea, the day is yours :) Fantastic shots as always xx

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  28. You are spot on with the winters we have had lately. Today feels close to springtime, but I know it's not anywhere near coming. You always seem to capture the beauty of nature no matter what the weather is. I have just purchased some TOPAZ lab and haven't installed it yet. Waiting to get my new laptop in working order. Tell me how you like it!

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  29. My photography has been so abbreviated this past 6 months with my 2 surgeries, but hoping to begin really getting out and back in the swing of things really soon!

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  30. By the way, your winter shots are lovely

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)