Dreams of a powder day…

are never far away as the season slowly kicks off.

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Keep your face always towards sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.

Walt Whitman

Images like this bring back memories of the most blissful of days. Gliding slowly uphill, keeping a close eye out for fresh powder, pristine and as yet unblemished by those who worship at the church of the chair.

Some may say the idolatry is blasphemous but for one who pays homage to snow in all of its forms I can only say “How much closer to God can you be?” On this day I can recall the silence, it was a day of such bountiful beauty that the spoken word seemed intrusive. It was a day for silence broken only by the whir of the chairlift and the hiss of the board as it slid its way through the fresh snow.

Children of the snow…church of the chair and as a good friend would tell me “When it’s this deep, keep your tip up!”

As she disappeared down through the trees following a line spotted from the chair, I can still hear her laughter pealing like church bells through the silence…

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…

Painting by moonlight…

literally.

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I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

Pablo Picasso

Light painting…those words today probably bring to mind the fabulous wakeboarding images shot by Patrick Rochon in conjunction with Redbull but did you know that the earliest light painting was photographed in 1889 by Georges Demeny and was titled “Pathological Walk From in Front?”

Then again, Picasso is also an artist that one wouldn’t necessarily equate with this form of painting but he was apparently intrigued after seeing the figure skaters shot by Gjon Mili and in 1949 collaborated with him during a Life magazine shoot. These images were later displayed in early 1950 at MOMA.

I find painting with light to be both energizing and soothing and while planning my shots for the eclipse last week I indulged in a little painting by moonlight. Usually I have at hand an assortment of torches and filters to use as my “brushes” but I thought that moon is looking pretty bright… why not!?

The shot of the day might have been if someone had been photographing me wildly waving my camera through the night sky while trying to keep track of my lines! Is this a work of art? Perhaps not but I liked its energy and just like last week’s eclipse, when social media was filled with cookie cutter images of large orange orbs, I again found pleasure in shooting the moon just a little bit differently.

Nothing is ever new but when almost everyone now carries a camera, at least a phone version, it becomes more difficult to create something that stands apart. Are you up for the challenge?

Additional images of light painting can be viewed by mousing over and clicking on the galleries idaho… after dark and idaho after dark lunar eclipse on this link to my website.