Pheasant…

in the snow.

What’s really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer.

William Albert Allard

One of the reasons that I absolutely love winter photography! It’s like having a clean canvas, uncluttered and primed.

Today was bitterly cold with periods of heavy snow but it was also the perfect day to spot pheasants: often overlooked as they blend so easily into ground vegetation.

Freezing fingers, wet gear…all so worth it! I believe that’s part of the magic of photography. Heading outdoors with no expectations and finding a little magic somewhere.

And tired out dogs…that’s a good thing too.

And the geek…

in me comes out.

clear transparent ice reveals the lily pads lying frozen above and beneath the surfaceWater is the key to life, but in frozen form, it is a latent force. And when it vanishes, Earth becomes Mars.

Frans Lanting

As temperatures continue to plummet all over the country I wanted to take a closer look at this image from a frozen spring fed lake.

It was captivating to stroll on the ice looking deep into its depths at the frozen tableau.

It feeds my fascination with water and how nothing is ever the same and each encounter shares something new.

This was congelation ice that forms underneath an existing layer of ice, building off the bottom. Then when the top layer melts, the clarity of the ice below is revealed.

And once again the natural world parallels human nature. Sometimes what you see on the surface doesn’t come close to what lies beneath…

In need of therapy…

take a walk in nature.

DSC_2679-Edit-EditSometimes you stumble across a few chords that put you in a reflective place.

David Bowie

I’m reminded on a continual basis that “time” is not a given and that every moment is precious.

I’m reminded that “home” will never look the same for me as it once did.

I’m reminded that the memories of my “past” will be forever changed.

I’m reminded that all of that is okay.

And all this from a river view of geese in the early morning.

Cheap therapy.

And in a moment…

everything changes.

DSC_2238-Edit-3Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.

William Allingham

Don’t wish for the season to change.

Don’t stay where you’re not happy.

Don’t wait for a better time.

Don’t forget to say I love you.

Not just a photograph…

but a memory.

DSC_0879-EditPhotography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation, and execution.

Ansel Adams

Winter landscapes are for me some of the most beautiful to capture.

Like a blueprint of time they contain a wealth of information; information that remains until the next wind blows and covers the tracks, or snow continues to fall burying that day’s history.

I knew immediately when I saw this image that I would render it in black and white.

Ansel Adams used a red filter to darken the sky in one of his photographs of the monolith in Yosemite. He already had in his mind the final image, not as he saw it but how he visualized it being.

Photography is a medium that allows for an immense amount of growth and how we choose to interpret that which lies on the other side of our lens is an intensely personal process.

Knowing this, accepting this, and staying true to this is the difference between a snapshot and a photograph.

A photograph is not only the image that it portrays but the memory that it holds.

When I look at this I am reminded of a very gentle man, a farmer, who several years ago during a challenging time showed me the true depth of his spirit and I hope that when he sees this he will recognize himself in the description and know that he made a difference.

The apex…

of scenting ability.

DSC_0770-3Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Years ago while involved in Search and Rescue I was introduced to tracking by a man named Jim Marshall. He cultivated in me an appreciation for awareness and personal space and the second nature to be always looking for indicators.

Today, one of my greatest joys is to find signs of animals passing through the wilderness and letting my imagination run wild with the back stories.

The discovery pictured above, along with a huge pile of hair laden scat, was heart rate elevating!

I searched for the perfect track to photograph and my mind raced with thoughts.

As a former bloodhound handler and instructor of scent theory, I’m well versed in the abilities of certain animals because of physiological makeup to be scenting machines.

Here I was in close proximity to one of the animals at the apex of this description…the grizzly bear. An animal purported to be able to scent 300 times more than a bloodhound.

This is the beauty of photography. Each time I look at this photograph I will remember the cold, the heightened awareness, the silence, and the joy that we felt when we saw it.

I had hoped to see elusive bear number TENĀ  of the year but I’m okay with it not being this particular bear.

Was he watching? Very likely.

Was I? Always.

A memory of my father…

in frozen rain.

DSC_5494Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.

Frank Lloyd Wright

This image just reinforces for me why I love winter so much.

I was awakened by the sound of wet snow sliding off of my metal roof; the snow having turned to rain sometime during the night.

I treat almost every surface as a canvas and on this morning my eyes were drawn to the image of a forest, etched in frozen rain, on the plastic side window of my Wrangler.

It was reminiscent of the trees that my father would carve with a palette knife into his acrylic paintings. Many years after his passing I still use that palette knife to carve into my encaustic paintings of photographic images.

Stay close to nature, it will never fail you.