Image © 2017/Denise Ippolito Photography
Some of us have a special bond with one or more of the four seasons. I adore each and every season for different reasons but I find winter to be more alluring. The bare trees and wintery scenes appeal to the artist in me. There is a calm sense of peace in the air. I still get excited like a child when it snows; there is something magical about seeing the white flakes falling from the sky. I love the brisk, clean air that winter brings. I also love sleeping under loads of blankets with the cold nipping at my nose. No, I don’t like frozen finger tips or toes and I don’t relish the thought of getting out of my toasty, warm bed to meet the cold. BUT knowing that snow might be on the ground, is all the push I need.
I also enjoy listening to music that reflects that peaceful winter feeling. George Winston’s album December touches my soul. It is his fourth and very best solo piano album. Thanksgiving and Variations on the Kanon by Pachelbel are my two favorites.
One of the other things I love about winter is a good soup and I even like making my own soups. My all-time favorite is Pasta & Potato soup. Yes, loads of carbs but if you have to shovel your driveway you will work it off! The recipe is simple, start with a Mirepoix and add either a vegetable broth or chicken broth, next add boiled potatoes and cooked pasta to it, simmer for awhile, serve with grated cheese on top. Yum!
Let’s talk about photography and winter…On my first visit to Hokkaido Japan, I had high hopes of photographing during blizzard-like conditions with snow mounds and icicles. My dreams came true when I awoke to several inches of snowfall and zero visibility. That was exactly what I was there for; I wanted to photograph Red-crowned cranes dancing in the snow and I was about to get what I was hoping for.
Now for the reality check. The snow was wet and was blowing in every different direction. My lens needed to be cleaned and dried off every few minutes; it was like photographing a waterfall with constant spray. White-out was an understatement. Not only could I not acquire focus I couldn’t even see the birds as they were coming in. The only saving grace was an oak tree that stood out in the snow. I noticed that the birds were flying near it and if I manually focused on the tree I could turn my focusing ring slightly as they became visible. Still, it was difficult. Determined to make the most of the day I worked hard at it and ended up getting many shots that I loved. As the morning faded the light increased and so did the visibility. I was in heaven, my own little winter wonderland!
Ever since that day I have been in love with the challenges and the benefits that snow brings. What are some of your seasonal favorites?