Winter: What I Like About You

Close up detail of a blossom from a Bradford pear tree in Cedar Park, Texas

Yes, it’s true, Spring is on the way, but, before old man Winter fades off into the distance, I thought I would post a few things I’m actually going to miss about the ole’ guy. Now, I know it’s hard to believe that anybody can actually miss anything about winter. Let’s face it, this has not been the easiest of winters, in fact, I’d go as far as to claim it was one of the worst in recent memory, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. There are good things about winter, really there are. It’s just too easy to get caught up in the “oh no! It’s showing! Again!” business to remember (sometimes) the good stuff. So today I thought I would remind us a few good things about Winter.

For starters, and this really is one of my favorites, there are fewer bugs in winter. No fleas. No critters. All those pesky critters? Gone. Off to hibernation land. Good luck trying to find a yellow jacket or a nasty wasp in the depths of a frozen January. They just, well they just aren’t usually there to pester us all that much. As somebody way more eloquent that I once proclaimed, “I thought I was brave once, and I was, right up until the day I realized cockroaches have wings!” Indeed. No winged things chalks up as one of the things I love about the Winter months.

Next up we have the food. Winter is a great time for staying indoors next to a warm stove, a hot oven, heck even a mildly oiled frying pan. Lots a mac and cheese and baked dishes. Let’s face it, who does not love a good baked dish? If the end of the world ever were to come to pass, you know, you just know deep in your heart of hearts, that the neighbors and nearest family will show up with a casserole of some kind. It’s just how we humans survive. Armageddon? Here have some lasagna, you’ll survive! Baked dished chalk up as something else I love about winter.

The next item on my list is probably a bit of a mixed bag. Sure we hate putting them on, taking them off, and repeating this cycle, but all of the coats, hats, warm woolen mittens, scarves, and the like can make for wonderful images. There is nothing like taking a picture of somebody in a classic pea coat. I’ve always had a thing about following people in red coats as well. You want a great shot? Go find somebody in a red coat! Trench coats, red coats, pea coats, duffer coats, brightly colored mittens, hats and all the trimmings make for most excellent images. Good luck doing that in the summer months. Let me be the first to break the bad news, finding somebody in a red tank top? Yeah, that’s not as fun. Not to mention striped socks. Oh, don’t get me started on long striped socks. So, yes, the art of bundling chalks up as next on my list as something else I love about Winter.

There’s also studio time! It’s easier to spend a lot more time in the studio in the Winter. Let’s face it, even with today’s cooler lighting rigs, it gets kind of hot and stuffy in the studio with all the lights and fabric backdrops draped everywhere. The air just doesn’t circulate all that much in there, not to mention all the projects you can tackle. There’s no pressure to go outside, since it’s not nice anyway, so might as well stay indoors and play. If you’re the type who enjoys a good paint slapping, that too is better in the winter. Paint can actually dry!?! Who knew!?!

Apart from the crackling fires, the warm winter bundling of red coats, the lack of flying insects, and that no apologies extended stay in the studio with lots of yummie foodstuffs, there’s also the first buds of spring. There’s nothing quite like shooting the first crocus of spring or watching intently, as I’ve done here, as the late winter blossoms give way to fresh green leaves of spring. Gone soon will be the barren winter trees, replaced with shady canopies of abundant leaf action. So, if you’re the type who enjoys the barren trees, now’s probably a good time to get out with your camera. Go, enjoy the last snowfall of the season. Shoot everything all covered in white. Be on the hunt for that first crocus or that early budding tree. Follow your last red coat of the season and enjoyed a freshly made baked dish for soon, all too soon I promise, it will be time for beach attire and flip flops. You’ll wonder where oh where the winter ran off to soon enough, I promise.

This shot taken with the 100 macro in the backyard, Bradford Pear tree blossom on the macro wide open, as the soft focus is intentional thank you very much.

Until next time…

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