Monday, January 31, 2011

Birds in Winter

I've always been amazed by how many of my photographer friends put their gear away during the winter months. I so often hear, "Well, there's just nothing interesting to shoot in the winter." I also hear, "There's just not much color in the winter. Scenes are so drab." This couldn't be farther from the truth. Not only are the subjects prevalent, but many are easier to approach during the colder months.

For me, much of my work is about composition and light, and the winter season has plenty of both. Granted, the colorful flowers may be gone, and the grass and leaves are no longer green, but the sky is blue and the sunlight of winter can be magical. The winter is the time to sharpen your compositional skills and to look at subjects with a new vision. Without the focus on color, one can truly explore the relationship between subject and light. I have always felt that photographers can do more to sharpen their skills during the winter months that perhaps any other time of the year. The lack of so much color in the landscape forces one to look elsewhere for subjects, and it demands perfection in the execution of a photo. Winter shooting raises the bar on what constitutes a great shot. Winter photos can clear the clutter from your images and bring a remarkable pleasing simplicity to your images.

Here's a couple of hints for shooting in winter. First, recognize the fact that winter lighting can often be harsh. A polarizing filter can be a useful accessory. Secondly, snow can be a challenge for proper exposure. I generally open the lens a full stop to open up shadows that are so often lost in snow scenes. So.......grab your gear......get off the sofa........and go outside and shoot. Good Luck.

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