The White Nothing

The White Nothing

Last night I dreamed…

I dreamed of a tree that stood alone in the White Nothing.

The White Nothing was all encompassing and covered everything leaving only the tree, with me, standing under it.
As I stood under the tree looking up into it’s spindly branches, I felt protected and safe there, as though it was my guardian, and it’s many arms seemed to circle around me in a gentle embrace.
The White Nothing was very lonely, however, and it pressed in on me like a cold fingerless hand, wanting my breath and the warmth of my soul. Squeezing it out of me.

And then there you were.

Standing beside me. Holding my hand. Creating energy that drove the white nothing back. We sat under the tree for a life time, telling each other our secret dreams and fears, laughing until we cried, and crying until we laughed again.
The White Nothing stood still all around us and watched. Curious. Seeking answers to what it was seeing.
Finally the White Nothing gave up and receded. Bit by bit. Little by little, leaving us to our play. Maybe we beat it. Maybe it felt sorry for us. Or maybe it just didn’t know what to do with us. But we beat it.

Together.

We beat it.

And now we still sit under the tree, holding hands and leaning our shoulders together. Knowing we are not alone.

We will never be alone.

Because we are friends.

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If You Don’t know Me By Now

If You Don't know Me By Now

Winter is the much needed nature’s rest in between the periods of growth. A time for everything to sleep and get ready to produce again for a new season.

It’s during this time that I also usually notice a great slow down in the amount of photos I take. It’s either too cold, or too snowy and hard to get to a good location.

When winter starts out it’s fresh and crisp and brilliant, but as it goes on, for such a very long time, it starts to become oppressive and depressing. There is very little colour in our world in the winter, and most of the time when the sky is blue, it’s extremely cold out.

This winter has been no exception – we’re receiving higher than average snow falls and I see my friends in other places starting to post photos of new budding trees and flowers while we have 4 feet of snow on the ground here still.

Shooting in the winter creates it’s own challenges that many may never have the opportunity to face.

First of all you have to deal with the never ending white. And that is exactly what it is here – white on white on white. Whether the sun is shining or not – white can be tricky to shoot and still maintain detail.

You can even become snow blind, meaning that you can’t even see the snow formations or textures with your eyes… it all becomes a virtual white out, even though the weather is clear. There are no shadows to tell you what is ahead of you. All you can see is an expanse of white.

This winter I spent more time than ever out shooting in the snow and I have found a new appreciation for winter photography. Winter photography can be wonderful for making minimalist compositions, something that I have really enjoyed this winter, and I am learning all the time to spot new possibilities in the white. I have found shooting with my histogram invaluable for shooting in the Great White Nothing, because, really, using your view screen is never the best way to judge your exposure, but in the white, it’s important to make sure that you are not blowing your whites out, because if you do, you’ll never get that detail back. When your photo is all white… it’s easy to lose that detail.

However much, though, that I’ve enjoyed shooting winter this year, I am ready for it to be over. Come on spring.. bring us some warm sun! 😉