Winter is Coming.............Yippee!

May 2013

So they keep saying in 'Game of Thrones'. Apart from the 'yippee' bit.

 

For years and years, I have always assumed that Summer was the best time for photos. Those blue skies, those fluffy white clouds, the strong light, the long days.

 

Well, this year's Winter has lasted for feckin' ages....and has made me realise that Winter is under-rated as a season for photography, and could well become my favourite time of year for photo trips. Many people pack their camera away over Winter, thinking that the short, dull, cold days are a waste of time when it comes to taking good photos, and wait for Spring.

 

Well, bollocks to that. Here are my reasons for suggesting Winter is the best time for photography, landscape in particular.......all these photos were taken in Winter.

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

 

1. Later sunrises

 

The fact that the sun doesn't rise until nearly 8.00am during parts of December and January means I don't have to get up at stupid o'clock in the morning to travel to capture the morning light, as I would have to do in Spring or Summer. It means I can arrive at my chosen spot comfortably before sunrise and choose my locations. This image of Bamburgh was taken at 7:50am just as the sun was peeking over the horizon. It was a 2 and a half hour drive, so I still got up early, but not at 2.30am if it has been the Summer!

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

 

2. Sunrises take longer

 

Because the sun never goes as high in the sky in Winter as it does during the Summer months, it stays closer to the horizon for longer, effectively making the sunrise lasy for longer. This means you have more time to get the right shot. I have found that in Summer, you only have a few minutes at sunrise or sunset to get the shot you want, but not so in Winter. This photo, again from Bamburgh, shows the sun just over the castle, but was taken exactly an hour after the shot in point 1.

Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland

 

3. The sun stays lower in the sky all day

 

This might not sound like an advantage, but the sun staying lower in the sky all day means that harsh shadows are much less likely, the light tends to be warmer when the sun is shining, and the light from the winter sun tends to be softer. The lower light also tends to highlight texture better.

 

This image of Dunstanburgh was taken at 10 o'clock in the morning, but the sun is still not that far above the castle - and note how warm the light is on the rocks.

Belfast City Hall

 

 

4. Night photography is easier

 

It is easier and more convenient to get involved in night time photograpy in the Winter because sunset is so early. You can get into the city and take some stunning night trail shots at the early evening rush hour when traffic is at its busiest, meaning you are much more likely to get the kind of shots you're after. You can also visit night light structures at a sensible time and be home for tea! This image of Belfast City Hall was taken at just before 6.00pm

Greena Castle, Ayrshire

5. You get great skies!

 

One of the advantages of Winter weather, especially on windy and 'changeable' days, is that the light is constantly changing - which is a massive positive in itself - and this means some very dramatic skies. For me, there is nothing worse than a blue sky. I nealy always prefer clouds. They add texture and mood in a way that a perfectly clear sky will never do. You can get dramatic skies all year round, but the nature of Winter, especially where I live - Scotland - means you are more likely to get a moody sky. Which for landscape photography is a must.

Buachaille Etive Mor, Scottish Highlands

 

6. Snow!

 

For me, another big advantage of Winter is snow. Snow shots can be very evocative and moody. It can also add texture and interest to mountains that occupy the focal points or backdrops to many a landscape photograph. Snow capped mountains can still be seen in Scotland well into Spring, but the best time of year for this is understandably Winter.

 

This photo was taken in January on a rare sunny day in the Highlands of Scotland. It would not work for me if the mountain did not have snow on it.

News!

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Thanks again for visiting. Gallery page in back in construction again, back very soon

27/10/2014 Coming up for 100,000 hits!

96, 607 so far, thanks to all who have visited

26/10/2014 Flickr on the earlobe

Have spent more time uploading photos to Flickr than here, please see my Flickr link above to have a look

15/03/14 Time for a Change

Bored of the existing design and too many images on this site, have changed the design completely and moved most of the images to Flickr.

11/12/13 Time for another update

Been a while since I uploaded any photos, will do so soon as I've taken loads recently

11/07/13 Venice ze bus due? (read in German accent)

Took the wife to Venice last month for her 40th for a long weekend, took about 2000 shots, will upload best of this week

06/07/13 TV Stardom!

Well, sort of...a bit...in the sense of 'not at all'. But surpised and pleased that BBC Scotland contacted me and aksed for full resolution versions of some images I have sent them in the past for the 'Your Pictures of Scotland' web pages. They want to display large lightbox images in the BBC reception area and would like to consider using one or more of my images. Really hope they do.

09/05/13 World's Best Site 'Get's Better' Shock

That's it, I have finally finished updating and reorganising my collection. I hope you enjoy and either buy everything or offer me a job at £100k a year. With car. And holidays equivalent to a teacher. And the same working hours.

07/05/13 9th Photo Sold!

I have decided I don't need to go on the Apprentice now, I am a successful entrepreneur on my own. I am quite happy behaving like an arse at home without behaving like that on prime time TV.

22/02/13 REVAMP!

Some photos will be unavailable to view for a while as I remove a lot of the images from this site, there are just too many mediocre ones!

15/02/13 Call me Mr Bailey

I have now sold 8 photos now! I thought it wouldn't change me, but it has. I now wear sunglasses indoors, drive like an arse and the public must not look me in the eye.

Photo Archive

09/01/13 Transferred over photo collection from one hard drive to another, turns out I have 41,600 photos. Too many??

I'm a Pro!

12/12/12 Sold 2 photos! One for $6.00 and one for 10 cents! I'm a pro! A rich pro! That's it, I'm resigning from my job. Today. Definitely...well, maybe....well, I'll give it another 6 months...or a year

LEE-hah!

01/11/12 Now using a new LEE filter system, with 0.9 ND Soft Grad and 0.9 ND Hard Grad slot in filters. Used on the Bamburgh Castle shots, seemed to make a difference but practice will be required!

New Lenses

Sept 2012 Got rid of 18-200mm EF-S and replaced with Canon EF 17-40mm F/4 L USM and Canon EF 70-200mm F/4 L IS USM lenses - brilliant to use, much improved image quality

99% done!

02/01/12 I have uploaded all my images now, just one or two things to do then that's it - the worlds least visited site is complete

Merry Xmas!

25/12/11 Nearly finished uploading the photos

Home page now online
19/12/11 It's mid-December, it's feckin freezing and I am now online! It's not even nearly finished but enjoy anyway

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