Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday... Pictures of Winter

What fire could ever equal the sunshine of a winter's day?
Henry David Thoreau

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show.
Andrew Wyeth

I love winter, but so far this year I've been disappointed with the dull nothingness of the weather.  No sparkling frost-hardened mornings, no winter sunshine, just camera-numbing greyness.  Then on Saturday night all this changed as we of course had that snow... (deep sighs of happiness).  I love the look of snowy landscapes, of everyday objects transformed by purifying drifts of white.  The downside of course is of course trying to travel anywhere in it, but I did manage to struggle into the local town to visit the cemetery on Sunday morning (it's good for photos ok?).  What I really would have liked is a shot of one of my minions wearing my super duper black velvet coat wafting about amongst the headstones - but of course Helen and Cath weren't there and David blatantly refused to have anything to do with THAT particular scenario.  God some people are just SO selfish...  I digress... the local paper have asked me to send them some of these shots for a piece they're doing, all good for the portfolio.

Of course because it was so bright outside my camera had a 'DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!' moment  and immediately tried to underexpose everything.  What would we do without exposure compensation?  It was however rather trial and error to overexpose enough to make the snow white without blowing out the highlights.

(And for those of a sympathetic nature... I got a wet bum and cold feet from lurking in the snow... plus our central heating boiler broke down and wasn't fixed until this morning so the house was freezing, much to the disgust of the cats, plus I lost my favourite mittens...  You can almost hear the violins can't you?).


Scattered Horizons

Sweet Shot Day

I love these gates... and I like the way the open one beckons you through to the path beyond.  I tried this in creamier almost sepia tones too, but I prefer the green tint in this one because it looks as cold as it was.  


This was one of the first images I took when I got to the cemetery - it was very foggy and I wanted to  emphasise that with the processing so kept it light and ethereal.  I really like the way those furthest away trees recede into the mist.


I do like that strong shot of colour against the background. I'd like it even more if that gravestone wasn't dissecting the tree!  You'd think they'd plan things a bit better wouldn't you? ;O)  I'm still not 100% sure about how best to process this one (cloning the gravestone out might be an idea!), I did one in very light,  white and blue tones, then did this instead.  Hmmm, something to play around with this week methinks.


Again I tried a few different effects on this but in the end went for icy tones.  

I obviously developed a bit of an obsession for the same setting in Lightroom...


And because I can't let a week go by without at least one black and white shot, here's a completely different take on those gates.  Just made for high contrast.


Kathy said...

Wow, Wow, Wow! I am a sucker for anything architectural and I ADORE your gates! That first photo and the last one in b/w. I am usually hands down for b/w over color...but between these two...I think I"m torn! Marvelous work here. And congrats on being commissioned by the paper for some of your shots.


Amanda said...

Absolutely LOVE these photographs...the gates against that snowy back drop are amazing. the detail, the black and white, the different colors you chose to highlight in each photograph is exquisite. Makes me wish I lived in a place with beautiful dreary graveyard and snow (but I dont, I live in the exact opposite...Phoenix, AZ!) When I was home with my hubby over Christmas I took a few graveyard pictures...this has me wanting to go unearth them and see what Lightroom magic I can create. Thanks for the beautiful pictures and inspiration!

Emily said...

Stunning captures Barbara! The gate photo is amazing, I love the mist and the framing. The statue is breathtaking and the black and white has wonderful contrast. Thank you for sharing and for linking up with Tones on Tuesday!

ally said...

beautiful wintery images

alicia said...

I love that first quote! And although it doesn't sound like an easy task, your pics are gorgeous!

Mum said...

I love them all, so atmospheric. Could aslo add Brr Brr, I can feel the cold from here!

Michelle said...

Wow, what absolutely gorgeous shots. They make me chilly looking at them. Greta editing as well.

Barbara said...

I love cemeteries and the gates on this one are magnificent. Your photos are superb - sorry about the cold, wet bum and lost mitten but it was worth it. Another one I particularly like is the snow capped statue.

Cedar said...

Those are awesome gates! I LOVE that last BW shot! Gorgeous!

Bethany said...

Wow! The first shot is completely stunning!

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Your opening photo is stunning, a real attention grabber. Beautifully composed.

Amanda said...

I love that first gate photo. Gorgeous!!

photo by ansku said...

I really love the shots!! Especially the ones with the gate. It's just so... black. And shiny. Amazing. I think the last one is my favorite. Frame worthy.

Eve Stein said...

This is such a pretty series. I especially enjoy the first one at the gate and also the one of the angel. :D

Jeanne said...

love all of these magical snowy cemetery photos. I love old cemeteries, in fact did a blog on one just last week. These photos are great!

Laloofah said...

I am really sorry I am so late to comment on this post, because I saw it not long after you posted it, but loved it so much I felt it deserved special commenting that I was too busy and distracted to do at the time. My procrastination was then exacerbated by my broken elbow, and I fell further behind while you've been on a creative blogging bender! :-) Anyway, I had to come back and dig into your older posts to finally leave some praise I'm sure will be inadequate, given how much I adore all these glorious photos. Did your local paper end up publishing any? And did they pay you for them, as they surely should have?

I absolutely love gates, and the ones in your first photo are both exquisite and beckoning. Of course they are, a picturesque English cemetery lays beyond them in the snow - and I am also a lover of cemeteries, as you know! What a beautiful photo. I enjoyed reading about your experiments with Lightroom, it really looks like a wonderful and fun photo editing tool. I too love the way the trees (and the fence beyond them) recede into the fog in the next photo, and am amazed those trees had hung on to their leaves so long! That photo was one that most evoked how cold and damp it must have been that day, and time spent admiring it had me craving a good stout in a warm pub. :-)

The splash of fiery color against that cold and monochromatic scene in the next photo is definitely striking! Your trees don't give up their leaves without a fight, do they? :-) I agree about the thoughtlessness of those bygone gravediggers in not having the foresight to align that grave more photogenically. Honestly. ;-) I find myself wanting to take a few steps to my right to see if that would help, but imagine there's some obstacle to prevent it or you'd have done just that. Sure is a lovely photo, regardless. But my favorites of the bunch, by far, are the last three, from which I am completely incapable of choosing a #1 favorite. I love the icy tones with which you became obsessed - they are perfect for the first two. The (angel?) statue is just sublime, and belongs in this calendar (or better yet, in a future one!) And that branch is so utterly lovely, I wish I had a set of Solstice or Christmas cards with that image on it! I love the simplicity of it, and it conjures that deep, still silence you can only find in nature, in winter, in the snow. And thank you for closing this splendid post with an encore photo of those marvelous gates, so perfect in black and white!

Bravo, Barbara - one of my favorite posts ever!

I'm so glad your boiler was soon fixed, and your mittens found and returned as well (though in a decidedly less timely fashion!) But mostly I'm gratified that you finally got the snow you'd been longing for, and that you captured the beauty of it so stunningly to share with the rest of us.

Barbara said...

Laurie - thank you so much, what a lovely comment. Who knows, maybe Santa will send you a card of your favourite wintry photo this year :O) I am very fond of that angel it has to be said... and that calendar is stunning! Why have I never seen it before?!

Laloofah said...

You are, of course, most welcome - your photos deserve every syllable of effusive praise. I know two months are already down the crapper, but I'll try really hard to be good for the duration of the remaining ten in the hopes that Santa will be that good to me! :-)

As for the calendar, I'm not entirely surprised you never saw it before, it's from a small company called Duirwaigh. I'm wondering why they didn't' come out with more in subsequent years! I know you've visited my Halloween post from a few years ago, but in case you missed this link on it - scroll down to the bottom of the page to watch The Guardians slideshow set to the music of Secret Garden. It's lovely!


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