WINTER IS COMING
“For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have” (2 Corinthians 8:12).
The air is surreal, void of every particle; all moisture removed—everything that hazed the view has frozen and slipped onto the snow. The snow is salty hard; each step crunches—the ice groans and shakes. You can hear faint, haunting sounds of predators and screeching Jays for miles. The thermometer pegged at its extreme lower limit of sixty below zero. A bare leg, fluffed feathered sparrow darts about in search of grain. The soft pastel blue sky harbors a few cirrus clouds. High altitude ice crystals dog the sun; a rainbow halo encompasses it. A band of bare trees separates the sky from the water I walk on. Its perfect weather for photography is ideal conditions for worship—alone with God and the sight and sound of His creation.
Winter photography is black, white, and shades of grey. I love when a splash of color disturbs the toneless minimalist scene—a blue jay, a red fox, the evergreen. In the blue and golden hours of a winter day—a surprise of the northern lights and colors of the emerging and extinguishing sun—all magnificently painted by our creator. It is the perfect time to worship.
The sight of an old man layered in coats and gloves, resembling the “Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man” from Ghost Busters standing in the middle of a frozen lake, peering through a camera mounted on a tripod, draws crazy comments from the people warm and cozy in their lakeside cabins. Here in this crisp, clean air, I am alone with God and nature; no one else cares to venture out in these conditions. It is the perfect time to worship.
The seasons supply me with an endless photographic palette. I can set my tripod in the exact location, same camera, same lens, composition, and time of day, yet every image will be unique. Each image capturing a moment in time, never to be repeated. I have begun to do more videography with my photography to tell the story of these moments of worship. I love these solitary moments and want to share them with those who cannot experience them. The story and the images are my grateful gift to God and my testimony to every one.
Fall is holding off the white of winter this year; we have seen eighty-degree weather in October—but winter is coming. Why my eagerness about the cold, starkness of winter? The quiet, calm of it. During winter, we are alone in our bay; I can layer up in coat and glove, mount my camera backpack, walk out my door, and become a stranger in a strange land where diamonds dance on the white earth and in the blue sky. I can walk on water and sweep away the snow to see air bubbles frozen in time. The wind sculpts the complex and soft textures of ice and snow into graceful curves miles long. A tiny bright red ice house was awaiting the fisherman.
Deer with thick winter coats gather near a hay bail for shelter and food. The winter birds provide perfect portraiture, entertainment, and superb contrasting color: Titmouse, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Waxwing, Downy Woodpecker, Snow Bunting, Mountain Chickadee, Pine Siskin, House Sparrow, Snowy Owl, Hawks, Juncos, and an occasional Robin. I keep feeders full in strategic places, wait and watch the gathering.
An occasional blizzard clears the footsteps and tire tracks for clean minimalism images. The stubborn fall leaves dress color into the snow.
Steam rises from Elk, Moose, Bison, Cattle, and other beasts of the mountains. A chance close encounter with a Mountain Lion, Wolf, and Coyote All of this within a five-mile radius of home. Why be eager for winter? It is the perfect time for worship, meditation, and great images. It is a chance to spend forty days in the white desert with clean air and a clear mind. It is a time to be grateful.
Future projects and events:
I am working on multiple projects for books and calendars:
- Abandoned–Relics of the Prairie
- Prairie Faith, The Country Church
- Dakota Small-Town Living
- Let There be Light Calendar
My current video project intended to sharpen my videography skills is:
- “Builders” is a documentary about my garage build.
Upcoming “Let There be Light Workshops” will be tentatively scheduled for December 10 & 12 and mid-January. Send me an email if you have interest in either dates.
Areas of consideration depending on weather conditions will be:
- Winter Photography
- Intro to Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop and coverage of Luminar
- Lighting & Portraiture
- Architectural Photography