Those great little gems that get entered into the gps or map app on the smart phone. But what happens when it does snow and winter seems to pass us by?
There is no doubt that the climate of our planet is slipping down a global warming waterslide and our typical seasons that define our calenders are merging into what seems like just two, wet or dry season.
Last year I recall daffs out in early december and again in late february. Blubells in mid June and Thrift into late September. Flora lost in confused weather patterns and photogrpahers left scratching their heads in the wilderness.
What to do if like me you are hanging on in there for the white stuff because secretly deep down you know it will arrive....
Or will it?
I the mean time I find myself revisiting previous winter locations to try and better old shots and compositions. My back catalogue is full of my 400d images. A great camera and it served its purpose, but now with the 7d I am re-capturing old shots with a new perspective and newer kit.
Experience develops as does personal taste. Look back through your own image bank and see how much your style has morphed. Your processing skills and composition technique will have all improved, and will continue to develop. I think its important to chase projects or perfect a particular skill in the winter months. My own personal goals were to search out and better old captures on Dartmoor with new purpose and direction. All this to take my mind of the lack of snow...! The interest surrounding the National Park with the making of Speilbergs adaptation of Michael Morpurgo`s novel "War Horse" has brought an international spotlight to Dartmoor. Fresh interest in images and National Park related contacts increasing on the social networking platfoms such as twitter and facebook have all fuelled the fire to get out on the moor and discover more.
This time of the year is also a great time to try your hand at different styles of photography. Maybe B&W, longer exposures, or moonlight shooting which lends itself to winter due to the short days and long nights. This winter I have been chasing waterfalls, stone rows and ancient settlements.
I use photography to access local knowledge. Dartmoor has thousands of buriel sites and a mysterious heritage which I am immersing myself into using my camera gear as a ticket to ride.
At school history never inspired me. However treking across the moor to get to a two thousand year old stone row for sunrise and reading up about its possible purpose or use, the worshiping of stars/sun and the humbling experience of capturing it in your own lifetime all seem like a great substitute for snow !
All that said, as soon as the snow starts falling I think I will revert to the original plan and shootlist. Its my favourite weather and shooting condition. The transformation of the land can mean run of the mill, previously overlooked vistas become wondeful drift filled expanses with amazing light and shadow play.
Enjoy your winter. With or without snow. Open your mind and refresh your perspectives.