I admit it… I like the great indoors and my creature comforts. When the weather outside is frightful, especially in winter, I can’t think of anything better than staying inside, cozying up with a pillow and a blanket on the couch, listening to great music, reading a good book, watching a fun movie or even getting a few crazy story ideas committed to paper. To me that’s heaven on a cold, blustery winter day… or pretty much any winter day, actually.
However, it seems that through my renewed love of photography and my commitment to keeping the Instagram account freshly updated, something changed. After the first snowfall of the season here in Ottawa, I suddenly found myself meandering outdoors, chasing after the ever elusive nature shots. How did that happen?
Let’s be perfectly clear. I might not be inclined to spend more time outdoors than I have to on a blustery, stormy day. That would be pure silliness. That is when I will invoke the aforementioned “creature comforts” clause.
But after the storm has passed and the pathways have been cleared, it might be a different story. I am definitely warming up to the idea of getting out on a crisp, sunny day, and wandering out in the winter wonderland to take shots of the birds that didn’t fly south or the squirrels still running around gathering food.
I admit, a fresh, clean blanket of snow can lend itself to a certain beauty and majesty not found in other seasons. When snow crystals glitter in the sunlight, it can have a magical effect. To capture it in a photo might be my “thrill of the hunt” challenge this coming winter.
I am told that there is a Scandinavian proverb saying that there is “no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes”, meaning that it doesn’t matter how cold it gets, it is just a matter of choosing the right winter gear to brave winter weather. After living in frosty Ottawa for 51 years, I DO know this, but because I tend not to linger outside longer than I have to, I am a little out of practice when it comes to picking warm winter clothing as I found out the hard way.
My first venture outside to take winter shots on a very crisp fall day was originally intended as a quick 15 minute walkabout with the point and shoot camera. But it quickly turned into something unexpected and wonderful.
Before I know it, half an hour passed. Then it was 45 minutes. My shutter hand was frozen, my nose had a little icicle dangling from it, and my cheeks were getting nice and rosy. Oh my God… I was outside enjoying winter(ish) weather. Time flies when you’re having fun!
I have to admit, the conditions were pretty ideal. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the fresh snow was still white. Also, the paths were practically deserted except for a couple of hard core runners keeping up with their fitness goals.
As I approached the edge of the river, even the ducks seemed happy to see me and coming to say hello as you can see by the shot above.
As I clicked away on the shutter, capturing the beautiful surroundings of the park, I started to think how much fun this was, and how I might be inclined to revisit the spots where I took pictures through spring, summer and fall to see how they compare.
Before I knew it, I had traveled out much farther than I intended and had captured some magical moments in nature that I was most anxious to download to my PC to see how they turned out. I think we are on to something!
That being the case, I wouldn’t say that my renewed interest in photography will get me to love winter. Baby steps… Let’s just say we’ll call it a truce for now and peacefully coexist.
But ask me again after a few thousand winter photos… you never know!
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