Every year somewhere near the end of autumn or by the end of winter there comes a moment when photographers think there is nothing more to shoot. They start photographing water drops, smoke and other domestic subjects instead.
The question is: Why? Why is there “nothing more to shoot” in those periods of the year?
Let me have a shot at the answer (haha, pun intended ). I think that it’s possible that people are getting bored with the “same” type of weather or environment for too long. Back in the day, when I lived in Paris, France, the only season standing out was summer. Forget about the “I love Paris in the Spring time…” stuff, spring in Paris is miserable and cold as well as wet.
Nothing to see or shoot
The same was true for living in The Netherlands. With its soft maritime climate, it was rare even 50 years ago to get snow in winter that stuck around for more than 3 days.
Artsy waterfall near my house
The seasons in the Caribbean were similar, only just two seasons: dry and wet.
It all boils down to the duration of the said period and the number of activities we can squeeze into that time. Summer is always too short, whatever weather we get, so it’s not a matter of the weather alone. We have way too many things to do in any given summer for it to be too long. Fall is often wet and windy, as well as getting colder. A time that is not very pleasant to go outside to shoot something.
Moss, not mushrooms
At the start, the fall colours are beautiful, but they last for a couple of weeks at most. Then the interesting stuff is gone and we wait. Desperately to find something else, we often step on the mushrooms we didn’t even try to photograph. Fall seems to be a season for macro photography for me, macro or closeup at most.
Then comes winter. Winter in Manitoba comes in like a lion and doesn’t quit roaring until the end of April. If we’re lucky. The start of winter gets all the attention with “Winter Wonderland” pictures, then come the “Christmas decoration” pictures and after that it is quiet.
Boring sunset over the water
People have lost interest in shooting blizzard conditions. For some photographers, the only reason to get out and freeze is the Aurora, nice and bright during the frozen winter night. For the rest, “There is nothing to shoot!”, right?
Sea smoke at sunrise
When I started to feel the same here in the Maritimes, I was wondering if I was really right about that. Manitoba-like temperatures of –24C then descended over the area. The resulting sea smoke was a first for me. Sea smoke is the same as a hot cup of coffee in your hands. The steam coming off of it doesn’t mean the coffee is boiling. That the sea is steaming only means that the air temperature is a LOT less than what is needed to form steam. So, no, I was not tempted to go for a swim, despite the steam coming off the “warm” water.
Choppy wind and sea smoke in Port Mouton
When the wind picked up as well, that –24C became –35 wind chill. Nothing unusual for an ex-Manitoban, but frigid nonetheless. The ghost of “nothing to shoot” was dispelled quickly. I think it all comes down to the time that a certain type of environment lasts. One gets bored quickly by sitting in an empty room, but a room full of books can last for months.
Slim pickings here in the Maritimes? I don’t think so. Although some people cannot feel happy unless they’re unhappy and complaining. The motivation to shoot anything comes from within, not from the outside.
Now, go outside and photograph something!
Until next time…