Category Archives: Winter

The Light

A camera is basically a device that records the effect of light. The word “photograph” actually is based on the Greek words photos and graphe literally meaning “drawing with light.” Through the use of a variety of optical devices and exposure techniques these effects can be controlled and manipulated to create an image. Historically, the image was created by exposing materials such as metal, glass or plastic that have been coated with an emulsion that reacts to the light. With today’s digital technology the image is captured by electronically recording the light photons that hit the sensor in the camera.

When I go out to shoot, I always look for the effects of light on the environment or scene. Is it harsh or soft, bright or subdued, dramatic or subtle. Colors, shadows and details are all affected by the conditions encountered. The light essentially determines how the images will be impacted.

Often I seek subtle lighting conditions that will offer nuanced shading and textures in the subjects chosen. These conditions provide the soft and subdued characteristics that create serenity and calmness.

Other times I look for more unexpected situations that highlight or accentuate particular elements of the composition.

In the end, it’s being conscious of the light and being aware of its effects that provide me with the inspiration and appreciation to continue to experience and photograph the beauty in this world.

New Eyes

Since arriving in the high country of North Carolina early last October, I have been hiking several trails and exploring the nearby region with my camera. In doing so I have naturally encountered many of the same landscapes and sights while looking for new and interesting subjects. Early on I realized even though the scenery didn’t change, my outlook had to if my creativity was to stay fresh.

In the wisdom of Marcel Proust, “The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”. So I took that wisdom to heart and began looking with “new eyes”. Seeing that way is not limited to subjects chosen, but how I choose to shoot it.

I ventured out at different times of day to capture the varying conditions of light. I waited for changing weather conditions that would affect the details of the picture. I looked for varying compositions and points-of-view that might not have been obvious before. Not all the images were “successful” but in short, I experienced the same places with a renewed energy and creative vision, resulting in a perspective that was refreshing, exhilarating and rewarding. 

Winter in the Blue Ridge Mountains

After many, many years spending winters on the coast of warm, sunny Florida, this year I ventured north and experienced the seasons in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Of course it was a complete transformation of environment and weather—no seashore, beaches or palm trees, but a welcome change.

I found the serenity and solace of the mountains, lakes and woods and was captivated by the varying landscapes, some barren, others rich with subtle details. As I looked through the viewfinder of my camera I recorded intriguing images of light, color and texture, new to my vision of photography.

I won’t stop exploring the ephemeral relationship of sky, sand and sea, but have a renewed appreciation for other aspects of the natural world that can be envisioned and interpreted through my photographs.