Most people here in the UK aren’t too keen on the winter.
But when you probe further, I find that many actually rather enjoy a crisp, frosty morning, or the romance of a first snowfall – especially as they’re increasingly rare these days – or that low golden sunlight late in the afternoon.
Perhaps what we mean when we say we don’t like winter, is those grey days of nothingness, where it’s neither sunny nor stormy, neither mild enough to enjoy the air on bare skin, nor bitingly cold enough to require cosy layers of hat, scarf and gloves.
It’s this kind of absence of any kind of interesting season or weather that we seem to find brings us down, a dreary monotony that comes in any shade you wish, as long as it’s grey.
As a photographer, these bland grey days don’t inspire much action either.
Give me frosted grass and leaves, or a few inches of snow that transforms the landscape, or just strong winter sunlight dappled through trees, and I’m salivating at a feast of visual opportunities.
But those grey cloudy days don’t do much of anything.
The light is too dull to bring nature’s glorious colours to life and most photos end up washed out and insipid, with as much life and vigour as a limp tea bag left on the drainer three days ago.
I’ve been thinking too that perhaps this is always why with black and white photography I like strong contrast and deep shadows.
Again it’s a way of avoiding those infinite grey mid-tones that see my interest plummet into a void.
Of course, we can – and do – experience this kind of weather at any time of the year, it’s not exclusive to winter.
But it’s winter that gets tagged with this flat blanket of grey most often, and so we forget that a day of cloud cover and neither warm not cold temperatures can arrive pretty much any season – and day – of the year.
Spring, summer, autumn and winter all have their charms, when they’re not languishing in grey nothingness.
So I say let’s enjoy and celebrate the fullness of every season when it presents itself to us.
And as for those grey days? Well, maybe put your camera away and just walk purely for the fresh air and exercise.
Then either wait for the next day with more inspiring light and weather, or get your camera out to experiment indoors.
Which is your favourite season and weather for photography? What do you when faced with a bland grey day?
As always, please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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