Spring’s first…

bloom.DSC_4330No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

Hal Borland

I suppose it was inevitable.

I found the first flower blooming in my yard, a variety that I’ve not seen before.

Graceful and delicate it opens up towards the glimmer of sun that has been struggling to break through the clouds.

Nature’s a fickle thing though and this morning the landscape sparkles with a layer of frost.

I secretly rejoice.

Happy Easter to those celebrating.

Two years…

of weekly blogging.

dsc_5730-2Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’

Alfred Lord Tennyson

A beautiful day with frigid temperatures and a fine way to end my second year of blogging.

I set a goal for myself two years ago to write a weekly blog post on photography. I wanted it to focus mainly on creativity and inspiration and highlight an image preferably from that week.

It’s now two years later and this year was for me filled with ups and downs and I know that I’m not alone in that.

Highlights and lowlights…rather ironic considering that they’re two of my favorite things.

Some of the best highlights?

Photographing a proton arc during a night of northern lights, in one word…unforgettable.

Photographing rare halos and having the most incredible e-mail conversation with a renowned physicist.

Numerous publications and an Image of the Day by Earthsky.org.

An abundance of canine photo shoots, so dear to my heart.

The lowlights? Frankly I’m just going to visualize whirled peas and leave it at that.

I’ve got a new project starting and can’t wait to immerse myself in it.

Don’t forget to take some moments for yourself during this busy time of year and find something positive to focus on…

Winter…

blues.

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The deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infinite, awakening in him a desire for the pure and, finally, for the supernatural… The brighter it becomes, the more it loses its sound, until it turns into silent stillness and becomes white.

Wassily Kandinsky

This week I felt the first brush of winter and it sent me rushing outside to attempt the first “frozen” of the season.

All around me I hear mutterings from people mourning the loss of summer but all I can think of is…soon.

This season brings with it a partnership with nature and I can’t wait to see what creations I can capture.

I’m ready…bring it!

A winter throwdown…

on the still life I’ve presented.

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Frost is the most sophisticated of poets.

Peter Davison

I love to play outside in freezing temperatures; single digits or gentle climbs into the teens will get me up early every time!

When hoar-frost and rime are not readily available, when the patterns on my windshield seem a little haphazard, when snowflakes have become uncooperative, that’s the time when I set up my own winter scenes and wait for Mother Nature to bring it!

It’s a challenging dance. Everything has to be lined up just so; very cold, no wind, superb light, and preferably a blanket of snow.

It’s really a balancing act. First orchestrating the placement of the bubble and then should that be successful you have only seconds to get the shot before any number of catastrophes can occur. Focus is often challenging and ever-changing.

Sometimes I think that the shot that would be the one would be the shot of me taking the shot!

When it all comes together though, it is breathtaking to watch. Each time I am amazed at how the frost patterns bloom and grow on the substrate that I’ve provided. Sometimes floral in their design, other times fern-like. Sometimes hard and directional yet other times faint and tentative.

When asked how do you do that I am often at a bit of a loss to explain. It’s a dance really and for the best results one really does need a willing partner.

Cue music…

You’ll never hear the words…

I hate winter come out of my mouth.

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Winter is not a season, it’s a celebration.

Anamika Mishra

We were hit hard with a winter storm this past week; one that communities south of us are still recovering from.

I am happy to be sitting at my desk with the power restored after a few days without. It makes one feel grateful and appreciative for all that we do have. We were warm and toasty, aided by our wood stove. We weren’t hungry. We had candles and flashlights and we were together as a family.

Winter brings these kinds of storms that depending on the timing, can wreak havoc in the Northern climes but you won’t hear me complain.

Winter also brings a beauty with it that is varied and intricate. Always changing the landscape and added a layer of simplicity as it gently blankets the debris left behind in the fall.

With it comes the freezing temperatures that paint everything from trees to windshields with frost; when the sun makes its way up, the world then sparkles as it hits these formations.

When temperatures warm up it creates the perfect atmosphere for snow making. Snow can be clumpy and fast building and at other times precise and crystalline in its structure. Those are the ones that I love to capture, each one unique. One has to work fast though to capture these before they drift away.

One of my favorite times is when I wake up to a world filled with hoar frost which is formed at temperatures below freezing by the direct condensation of water vapor to ice. These structures are amazing and can be tiny or quite large in formation. They remind me of frozen feathers and if you walk through them you can hear a tinkling sound.

I don’t hate winter, I relish the beauty that it will bring to the landscape and the photo opportunities that come with it.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

A hint of frost…

on a winter morning.

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Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.

Pablo Picasso

My morning started out with listening to Whiter Shade of Pale; a song that never fails to bring back an abundance of good memories. It also is the song that springs to mind when I am photographing winter scenes.

I love this time of year and find myself working in tandem with mother nature as she throws down the most exquisite frost patterns and formations. There is a fragility to these scenes with conditions changing rapidly and if one blinks…the moment could be lost forever. I find it to be quite a work-out to do justice to what my eyes are seeing especially with light playing such a role in these images. There is never a better time to move around and look from all angles before capturing the moment.

This is a magical time of year when everything is not yet covered in a blanket of snow so fall colors can still blend with the wintry mood and have one last showing.

It is the perfect time to pull out that macro lens and search for the most intimate of landscapes…but bundle up because baby it’s cold outside.

An added note…

As I proof read this prior to publishing, the word fragility leaps off of the page as news begins to filter through about the attacks in Paris. My heart goes out to the people of France.