Winter – free your vision.
Too often the dull, dim and dank days of Winter leave us cold. Venturing out? Photography? Noooo! Yet Winter offers a world of inspiring colours, textures, sights and light not there at other times of the year.
Not grey, great!
Like any other time of the year sunset and sundown are times of the day when the most amazing colours are revealed. The magic of the golden hour pinks and golds is just as exciting in the winter as it is in the summer – and you don’t have to be out so early or so late with shorter days. What is not so obvious to the inexperienced Winter photographer is the mellowness of the colours. There is amazing colour, strong colour. However, especially in snowy environments, the golds, pinks and blues are mellowed into a softness that you don’t see at other times of the year. The wonderful pink tones in the image above show the point beautifully.
I have spent some time today looking over www.kylemcdougallphoto.com . Kyle is a fine-art landscape photographer based in the beautiful Muskoka region in Ontario (see: About ). He is a keen, insightful, observer of the natural world around him. You can see the depth of his vision in the quality of the tonal treatments and the beautiful exposures of textures that characterise his work. I was particularly inspired by the winter photographs although his work is equally as insightful for all the seasons.
The particularly interesting thing about Kyles work is his exquisite control of tonal ranges. I have mentioned before in these pages that often the best pictures are captured just after the sun has gone down or just before it comes up. This “blue” period of the day provides infinite tonal blues that caress the eye. I just love these times of day. The great thing is that most photographers have packed up and gone home as the “blue” time starts… you have the stage. Make the best of this time as you will be among the few who use it well. Kyle McDougalls works really capitalise on this time of day when he explores those tones.
In Winter, texture wins the day
The lower light levels, and lower angle of light in the sky, often puts off photographers in Winter. But this is the best time to capture some wonderful textures. Muted winter colours and low light combine to create excellent contrasts and micro-shadows. Along with the soft light these environmental factors are a gift to the seeing photographer. Ice, snow and even water take on an almost ethereal glow punctuated by texture. If you can capture that with a good composition your pictures will create wonderful and lasting images in your viewers mind. Look for opportunities to get the sun low in the sky and those lovely early morning or evening tones and shadows from the side.
In your winter photography look for opportunities to express the colours and contrasts that appear. They are different to those you find in the Summer. The subtleties of tone, texture and colour are there for all to see, but only the insightful photographer will make good use of them.
My thanks to Kyle McDougall for his permission to link to his website. Please take some time to look over the other wonderful pictures available on: www.Kyle McDougall Photo.com
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