White, white world

27 Dec 2013

The shortest day of the year has passed, only to be seen next year again. When people not from Manitoba talk about the “horrors” of their winters, we tend to laugh, compared to what we go through. But when we talk among ourselves, then that same winter takes on a whole new level of cold. Interesting to see those points of view from outside.

Lake Winnipeg

While it is true that it is generally cold out here, we should not forget that there are also lots of views that this cold provides us with, not for anyone else in the world. Those views are what we are here for, photographers…

True, I tend to overstate the temperature part of the winter here. Probably because I am not really used to it yet. But that same winter period shows aspects of nature that cannot be found elsewhere. Didn’t I already say that?

Frosty blue, Birds Hill Park, MBFrosty blue, Birds Hill Park, MB

When the morning is coming and you are still in the “blue hour”, winter tends to freeze even the pictures you are trying to take (as well as your fingers and your camera). The above picture was taken blue like this, not with any White Balance issues in case you are wondering. However, your eyes will “correct” this when you see it for real. The “blue hour” expression only came into existence when colour film arrived.

The Mint, Winnipeg, MBThe Mint, Winnipeg, MB

A little after the blue hour, the “Golden hour” starts. Not really a complete hour, merely a few minutes when the light has this golden hue about it. Above, The Mint, where much of the world’s coin is coming from. The coins of more than 42 countries are made here.

“Low blowing snow” looks like this“Low blowing snow” looks like this

Once the day has arrived in full force, you simply have to go out and shoot. No matter what that weather looks like. It’s always more pleasant by –5C, but there is something “special” about going out and shoot by –30C. Getting to the place where you want to deploy your photographic experience might take you over roads that other people would pull their noses up to.

Sundog over Lake WinnipegSundog over Lake Winnipeg

But once in place, the scenery might be just what you were looking for. The gold is not completely gone from the morning light just yet; sundogs are waiting to bite your fingers with the cold. The above pier is shortened for the winter, and rebuilt every spring. I thought I’d mention that before you start thinking about this as a waste of energy… Winking smile

All white, no shadows and no place to hideAll white, no shadows and no place to hide

The fields and the lakes are now covered in white. Most of these places will never see a man’s footstep. Either because the snow is too deep or because there is nothing to be done there. Fishing between the reeds can be fun, in summer, not in winter.

Small street in Gimli, MBSmall street in Gimli, MB

Little streets in towns may look like streets from the old days, covered in snow and ice, with nobody around to walk. In this case the –43C wind chill may have had something to do with it. But this is a recent picture, the tread marks on the snow show that.

But there I go again, talking about the temperatures instead of talking about the beauty of the land. I guess that these two go closely together, inseparable.

What about your feelings about winter? Are they mostly about the cold or about the beauty of the views?

Until next time…