“Afternoon in Shades of Gray”

It was a dark and dreary afternoon when suddenly a light appeared from behind a………………..

"Afternoon in Shades of Gray"   A  wonderfully moody  black and white version of  "On a Golden Afternoon"
“Afternoon in Shades of Gray” A wonderfully moody black and white version of “On a Golden Afternoon”

Well, actually it wasn’t quite like that, but it sounds good! 😉

This past weekend we got our first real snow of the season. It’s funny how this whole autumn has been. First it has been much warmer than usual, second the fall color came in and left much differently than in previous years. There were even a few trees with color still left on them, at least until the snow came along!

On this occasion I went out in the late afternoon to have a look at what I was hoping would be a winter wonderland. I didn’t quite find that, as some of the melting had already occurred and also wind had blown quite a bit of the snow off of the upper areas of the trees and branches. Still though, there was some snow left still clinging to the trees, and plenty still on the ground! I think we had gotten about eight inches total.

I made this photograph you see below (as well a a few others) in the few short minutes before sunset. The sun came out from behind the clouds just enough to illuminate areas of the trees and give a golden cast and brighten the snow!

After processing the image below, I decided to process it again into a black and white, or really a shades of gray version and see how I liked it. Well, I liked it a lot! See what you think.

"On a Golden Afternoon"  Beautiful golden light on a snow laden landscape, just before sunset.
“On a Golden Afternoon”
Beautiful golden light on a snow laden landscape, just before sunset.

 

Do you prefer this photograph in color or black and white?

 

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“Winter’s Ghostly Flow”

All I can say about this winter so far is, BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE! Brrrrr, it’s truly amazing how many records of low-lows, low-highs, and snow we’ve had over a large portion of the United States this year!

I really haven’t been out and participated in as many winter activities this year, or last year for that matter as I normally would have. Maybe I’ll still have time to get in some skiing before the season ends. We’ll see! 🙂

I did decide to go out into the crazy cold weather for a sunset a couple of days ago along the Huron River. While waiting for the clouds to break up and for some color to begin, I found some nice rocks and ice just under and a bit out from the water flow of a small dam.

There were whole areas that were frozen, but in general this section still had water flowing over the dam. The area of the Huron river above the dam appears totally covered in ice, but obviously there is still some water flowing, albeit a lot less than in warmer weather.

I began photographing single rocks with ice, and ice formations only, which were in the opposite direction, then I just took my time enjoying making some long exposures of the water flow. The sunset had decidedly become a dud. Thick clouds had pretty much taken over everything.

A flock of ducks flew into the area at one point just bobbing around in the water, and occasionally hopping up on the rocks.

In this frame, the sun had already set, so it was pretty dark outside. The water was flowing nicely, and a couple of ducks at either end of the image were making their ghostly appearance. Some of the rocks and stones had “hats” of snow on them and ice hanging from around them. The whole scene just had a nice feel to it.

I stayed for a good 30 minutes just making long exposures, one composition after another. At the time I wasn’t feeling the cold and wind of the heavy winter temps outside. That changed though after I headed up the hill towards the car. I guess I had been partially protected from the winds where I was before. Boy did I feel it after I arrived at the car!

I started thinking on the way home……..maybe I’ll go somewhere and do some floral photography until winter finishes! 😉

"Winter's Ghostly Flow"
“Winter’s Ghostly Flow”

“In the Heart of Winter”

“In the Heart of winter”

A path so light yet cold through winter boots,
Trees lined, tangled and heavily laden,
This I find in the heart of winter.

A biting cold, light snow coming down,
Small branches covered in white,
This I find in the heart of winter.

A trail not smooth it’s fraught with lumps,
One persons walk is another’s ski strides,
This I find in the heart of winter.

Heavy skies downy white,
North winds blow bringing in flakes each one not akin to the other.
This I find in the heart of winter.

Some skies hold a promise others do not,
The fruit of the sky lies in waiting on endless branches.
This too I find in the heart of winter.

~Rachel Cohen ~

"Winter's Silence"
“Winter’s Silence”

“Winter’s Weight”

"Winter's Weight" Snow laden tree branches form a perfect abstract in nature! Winter still hangs on here, but with the arrival of spring this week (LOL) I'm hoping to see some real melting going on! :)
“Winter’s Weight”
Snow laden tree branches form a perfect abstract in nature! Winter still hangs on here, but with the arrival of spring this week (LOL) I’m hoping to see some real melting going on! 🙂
"Winter's Bench" 2 Taken just a few hundred feet away from the tree branches sits a single lonely bench piled high with snow.  Both of these images were taken while it was still snowing. I kept a rain sleeve on my camera during most of my walk. After a while it became so impractical that i just said forget it, and dried all of my gear afterwards. I truly love the look of freshly fallen snow. The only problem is that we've had soooo much of it this year!  The Great Lakes will be happy though! :)
“Winter’s Bench” 2
Taken just a few hundred feet away from the tree branches sits a single lonely bench piled high with snow.
Both of these images were taken while it was still snowing. I kept a rain sleeve on my camera during most of my walk. After a while it became so impractical that i just said forget it, and dried all of my gear afterwards. I truly love the look of freshly fallen snow. The only problem is that we’ve had soooo much of it this year!
The Great Lakes will be happy though! 🙂

“North Winds Blew”

Not that long ago, on one of those wet and snowy kind of days. I ventured out to get in a few shots of the snow. The wind had been coming in straight from the North, and what started out as a cold rain from the previous night, turned into a very heavy snow.

You can clearly see how the snow has collected on, and stuck to one area of the tree trunk, and left a bit of an empty spot with grass showing directly behind it.

I first processed this image in color, but as you can see, there really isn’t much color to be had. So I then decided to do a black and white version. I thought I’d post both of them up here for you to see.

To me what I love so much about these two simple images is the fact that you can see exactly where the storm came from, or at least where it landed, and also the winter wonderland of snow covered branches in the background!!

I keep thinking, and hoping, that I’ll be posting fresh and new spring images of nature, and landscapes, but so far spring, although it has come by the calender, it hasn’t quite made its way to my area yet!

As I gaze out the window while writing this. I have snowflakes swirling around outside, and dark heavy clouds looming in the distance. We shall see what that will bring!!

Winter in color.
Winter in color.
Winter in B&W.
Winter in B&W.

“Winter at Parker Mill”

This image is of historic Parker Mill during the wintertime. The Mill was originally built in 1873, and at that time was used to grind flour and corn for the Parker family and their neighbors. In 1887 a second building was added to press apples into cider.

It is one of the historic treasures of Washtenaw County located in Ann Arbor Michigan. The grist mill is still in operable condition and also still has the original milling machinery that was left in it when the Parker family stopped operation in 1958.

On weekends in the fall you can tour the mill, and talk to the really knowledgeable and helpful guides as you watch the grain being ground. If you ask, they will also give you a small bag of ground corn to put out for the wild birds in your yard!

There’s something so special about old buildings like these. One of the first things to me is the heavy scent of old wood. There’s nothing quite like it!! Another thing is just imagining how the people who built, owned and used the mill were. What they did,and how their lives were!

To me I find it so wonderful that places like this are still preserved for future generations to see, learn about and enjoy. Especially a place like Parker Mill, which is still in working condition!!

As you can see, it’s quite a beautiful place with it’s huge and colorful stones as the foundation, and a light mustard yellow colored wood on top.

It is beautiful in any season, but I like it especially well in winter, when nothing obscures the view! Enjoy! 🙂

-Winter at Parker Mill-

“Sunset’s Path”

I grabbed this shot a few weeks ago when we had quite a bit of snow. It’s a seemingly strange angle for a sunset, but I wanted to get the rocks and all the snow on the lake in the frame with the warm glow that was cast all around from the sun. I used my Canon 10-22mm lens for this image.

The timing for the beauty of this sunset was so fleeting! I grabbed as many shots as I could from every angle. I really like this one as something a bit different. You can see deep footprints in the snow that went all along the edge of the lake, and the sun at a very low angle, just ready to dip down below the trees.

For those of you who didn’t get much snow this year, or for those that just can’t get enough winter. Well here’s some winter for you, with an added touch of golden warmth!!

Enjoy! 🙂

Warmth of winter sunset!
Warmth of winter sunset!

“Bearing Winter’s Weight”

You know, whenever it snows I have two thoughts in my mind. One is hmmmm I need to go out somewhere and capture some of that beauty on camera. The other is lets go have some fun in the snow, like skiing or sledding.

Well the snow you see in this image was one of those from a storm that brings in really wet snows. The kind that starts out as sleet and rain, gets really windy, then dumps a bunch of snow that clings to everything!!

It’s really beautiful to look at, gorgeous to capture, but not good for much else, especially when it brings down power lines, trees, and also melts rather quickly.

The weight of the snow on these trees and bushes was quite a load. Everything was drooping. As I sloshed through the extremely wet snow and water, big blobs of melting snow would come off of a tree and plop on the ground all around me. I knew I had to work quickly to get in some shots, and to prevent my camera from becoming covered in wet snow!!

This path seemed very inviting as I walked along. It turned out to be quite a bit more messy than I anticipated, but at least I captured the beauty and magic of it all before it melted into oblivion!!

So for now…… enjoy this little bit of Winter Wonderland, and keep thinking thoughts of spring, because it’s heading our way soon, and these little tastes of winter will only be distant memories!!

-Bearing Winter's Weight-

“Once Upon a Hill”

A lovely poem about trees by Joyce Kilmer. The poem is titled:

“Trees”

“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”

— Joyce Kilmer,

To me this is said so beautifully by Joyce Kilmer, and what better to show the beauty of a tree, than a wonderful old Oak tree. One that has lived and seen so many years. Felt the wonder of all four the seasons, the dread of drought, the warmth of the spring sun, the beauty of her fall foliage, and the loss of most of her leaves in winter.
Yet, in the twinkling of an eye. Winter soon starts to fade, the image you see here, beautiful in it’s own right. Will soon be replaced by the tender growth of a new spring season. A season that gives hope and rebirth to all living things!
This tree of many years, lives yet to see another, and hopefully decades, and maybe even hundreds of years more!!

"Once Upon a Hill"
The story a tree can tell.
“Once Upon a Hill”
The story a tree can tell.

“Seeing Red”

When we think of the saying “Seeing Red”, we don’t usually think good thoughts. We may think anger, frustration etc. Well in this case, seeing red is a good thing, a very good thing! 🙂
I noticed this fire hydrant a few months ago, and have been trying to find a good way to capture it. Yep, I know that sounds strange. Like, just how difficult could it be to get a shot of a fire hydrant! 😉 Each time I went to its location, which was several times, the time just wasn’t right, things weren’t clicking!!
On a whim, during the snow I decided to go check it out, and lo and behold the time was perfect! Just what I wanted. Something bright and red, standing out against the white of the snow, and the darkness of the day!
Something so simple, so everyday, something we may even take for granted. There it is, turned into an item of beauty! Something that can stand out on its own and say, I’m here!! Look at me!!
I hope you enjoyed this post, and image as much as I did making it! It was an image in my mind for months before it came to fruition! 🙂

A bit of red on a snowy day!
A bit of red on a snowy day!