It’s nice to be a photographer in winter, always something to shoot. What I like to shoot apart from wildlife, is human activity. Without activity of people around me, winter would be very sterile. To photograph activities in winter you need active people. So this time I will show some active people.
People who do something or leave a trace of something interesting to shoot. Preferably in the warmth of some place with a fire or some other form of heating.
The lead picture here is a forge, used to create objects of iron and steel. It is not in use year round, unfortunately. But in Winter time, it is a welcome place to shoot some great pictures. Pictures smelling of old times or if you are a fan of TV, of a program called “Forged in Fire”.
Master of the forge
The master of this forge is not in the business of competing against other smiths, he is here only for our viewing pleasure. He is not making craft blades, knives or anything special. If anything, he is making a whole lot of iron nails, good for restoring old-fashioned buildings, barns or other.
Combatting the freezing weather by fire
Personally, one activity I always enjoy is… barbecuing . The taste of grilled chicken in the freezing cold has no equivalent. The above picture was taken a few years ago, by a balmy temperature of –16C. It was the first time in my life to have a BBQ by freezing temps. I was always under the impression that BBQ was exclusively a summer activity. Apparently I was wrong (how is that possible? ).
Other people will simply enjoy the warmth of a fire in an oil drum. Placed in strategic places on the frozen river, these drums allow for any person walking on the river trails to warm up. No fear of melting the ice underneath, it is probably between three and four feet thick. A small fire like this will never get through it.
Some people don’t like to walk on the ice, it is too slow, they say. So they take their bikes and use those. When I was a kid, I tried my bike on the ice.
I never did it again, I can still feel certain parts of that bike in some very special places of my body, just by remembering… Here, those bikes are called fat bikes, for the size of their tires. I guess it is still very slippery, but a lot more manageable with those tires.
Others will prefer real icy activities, like throwing rocks. Oh yes, they call it curling. When the rinks are maintained and groomed for the winter, they are very much appreciated by the playing public. Everyone can try it, no previous experience required. The rock may be a little rough for the pro players, but hey, you have to start the love for the sport somewhere.
Later in the day, it may be time to find something to cover your head with. By now the cold may start to have some effect on your thinking. You may be thinking continuously of warm drinks, alcoholic or not, warm food and more. But perhaps you should simply be thinking of covering your head in something furry. Fur hats and other natural products may be on sale close by.
Did you get one of those fur hats? I know I did. So now it is time to go out of the city for a bit and enjoy a bit of stargazing on the roof of the Interpretive Centre in Oak Hammock Marsh. This night we got some instruction on how to use the giant telescopes. Giant personal telescopes that get Saturn and its rings within view. To me it looked like the people were looking at the wrong stars. The ones that were strewn on the ground were much brighter .
Photographing in winter is fun, but you need the subjects as I already stated here. Participating in those activities might open a whole new world for you. I think I will try that, one day. For now, my photography keeps me warm enough to last a few more winters.
Stay warm and enjoy the time…