Sunday Winter Voyage: Finding Color

Let’s raise our cameras, whatever they may be, and give each other a pat on the back for venturing out into whatever weather conditions we’re facing and making photos. This isn’t directed at only those of you in cold climates either. Sahara-like heat with stifling humidity presents it’s own sets of challenges for sure.

The point here is that whatever we’re grimacing at as we look out the window could potentially lead to some photo discoveries and that’s what it’s all about. There’s a saying that goes, “Bad weather makes good photos.” More often than not this is true. It’s a numbers game, the more you head out to take photos the better off you’ll be. You’ll have a better chance of seeing something interesting and you’ll have more practice.

Traverse City, MI
Leica M6

Yellow Skier-The photograph above encapsulates one of the facets I love the most about winter photography: the snow makes color pop. This photo was taken on West Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, MI. I walked out on the ice with my camera to see what would happen. When I looked to my right I saw a cross-country skier wearing this fantastic yellow snow suit. I checked my light meter and made the photo.

Winter can yield some fantastic photographic opportunities. For me, I enjoy the starkness it conveys as well as how great it is to see color pop in comparison to the surrounding snow. Often it’s cloudy all winter long save for maybe ten minutes per month. Tell you what though, all those clouds up there are diffusing that light BEAUTIFULLY and that means nice, even light with minimal shadows and saturated colors.

Sometimes I’ll find myself heading out on a frigid winter’s Sunday, which usually means my chances of seeing a fellow human outside their house or car will be slim to none. It’s moments like this that I think about photographers like Stephen Shore, William Christenberry and William Eggleston who photographed plenty of photos without people. Not that I want to copy what they photographed, but I’m inspired to head out and simply see what I see.

Traverse City, MI
Leica M6

Red Sofa in Snow– This couch screamed to be photographed as it was exposed from underneath a nice blanket of snow. It’s behind a local furniture store and I sometimes cruise by this place because there are a number of buildings with clean lines and interesting colors. I chose to use a film camera for these photos because I wanted to slow down my process and shoot a bit more purposefully.

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