As the sun sets lower in the sky the days get shorter with the approach of the winter solstice. Last night finally brought the snows, about seven inches of the wet stuff so far. The landscape now a monochrome, is one of the best times
to shoot in B&W. The landscape blurs with the whirl of falling snow.
But wait! There’s also the opportunity for high contrast and pronounced lines, interrupted by, what?
As winter is simple, spring is complex as a variety of life re-emerges. Plants are budding, even though we had record lows and snow, earlier this month. Here are just a few photographs of what I found.
Winter is not the most popular time to photograph. Not only is it cold but everything is so drab. However, winter is a great time for us black and white photographers. So, I donned my winter gear and spent some time in the woods in late February looking for some good tree compositions to photograph after dark. My idea was to use my flash to highlight a particularly interesting tree so it would stand out against a relatively dark background, much as you might do in a studio with a black, felt background cloth.
Once finding the compositions, the trick was finding the same shooting spot after dark. Accomplishing that, I set my camera on a tripod; then using Kodak Tri-X 400 film I set my lens to f/2 and the shutter to bulb. While handholding my Speedlite flash off-center from my camera, I opened the shutter just long enough to manually trigger the flash. I took three shots of each composition at 1/1, 1/4, and 1/8 power. Twenty-seven frames later, here are the best (click to enlarge).
Lianas are those woody vines so common to our wooded areas. As kids we used to look for them so
we could swing through the woods, much like Tarzan. Unfortunately, every once in a while a vine would either break or tear loose from its tree and down we would go. One of us ended up in a swampy mess. Such was life for boys in the rural fifties. I always felt so good coming home after time in the woods, alone, or with friends.
Nowadays I don’t swing on lianas, but I have found that some have interesting
shapes, making them good photographic subjects. I took these photographs on Ilford Pan F 50 film. The sky was overcast, providing soft light. Since most of the exposures were 1/30 second or longer, I used a tripod.