What is Your Season?

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?

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16 Responses

  1. Beautiful Images..

    As I was born in Southern India. I only saw snow in movies, never in real life until couple of years ago. I do like snow and winter for the lines, bare trees like your first image.

    My Favorite Season is Monsoon in India, the smell of earth after soaring heat in summers during first rain brings me happy childhood memories. In USA I look forward to spring and fall, for Blooms and Amazing Fall colors..

    Thanks for sharing. Have a good day.

    Hi Krishna, The monsoons sound like a very welcomed occasion and it is neat to hear that you have such fond memories of them.

  2. Odna says:

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful images and music. I love spring and fall – they are colorful, vibrant, and pleasant to all senses.

    Hi Odna, yes, fall and spring a so special with their vibrant colors.

  3. Edward Shulman says:

    Snow is absolutely beautiful, especially right after it stops when there are no human imprints. If you like piano, you might try Yiruma, Brian Crain, Paul Cardall, Helen Jane Long and Lorie Line. I listen to them all on Pandora.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful images and ideas. Have to join you on one of your workshops someday soon. Love your work and creativity.

    I will check them all out, thank you for the recommendations.

  4. Tony Botelho says:

    Spring, summer, fall and winter. Each season has its own special joys! If I was pressed to rate them on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best, it go this way. Spring 9.5, summer 9.8, fall 10 and winter 8.5. I agree with all you say about the joys of winter, I just find that as I get older, I no longer like driving on snow and ice.
    Happy Holidays Denise, thank you for sharing this great blog.

    Hi Tony, thank you so much, have a wonderful holiday season.

  5. Ron May says:

    Winter is fine and I share your enthusiasm, except when the temperatures start to drop around -20°C and lower. We had snow around the first of November, but it has been so warm lately that most of it is gone, except in the mountains. Mountains, what’s not to like. Time to plan a day trip. 🙂

    Like the first image.

    Thanks Ron, Yes, the bitter cold in Canada can be so unforgiving!

  6. Liz Lauer says:

    Wonderful images. I don’t know if I could handle those conditions. We seldom get snow in Tucson but when we do it’s magical.

    Hi Liz, that one morning we had in Bosque was pretty darn cold!

  7. James Saxon says:

    Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons to photograph, new life in Spring and preparing for Winter survival in the Fall. Don’t mind photographing in Winter but don’t want to live somewhere where Winter “never” ends. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Hi James, I guess that is why you live in Texas! I lived there when I was younger and we never saw more than 1/4 inch of snow unless we travelled to Jersey to visit family for the holidays.

  8. Nancy Bell says:

    Loved your reality check of winter photography in Japan! Yep! Some of my most interesting images are from Japan in blizzard conditions! I even got lost in a white out on my way to the motel. But if I can make myself do it, winter weather can be great! As for a favorite, I try to “love the one I am with” at the moment.

    I remember hearing about your experience at Lake Kussharo! If I remember correctly, you were one of the only ones out there!

  9. Catherine Dalessio says:

    You have a special way of taking every Season and photo opportunity and finding the beauty in it and making it special. Thanks so much for sharing that. Best wishes for you and your family for the Holidays

    Hi Catherine, you are too kind, thank you. Have a wonderful holiday and say hello to Jon.

  10. Evie young says:

    I must admit I love the winter too. And living in montreal we have plenty of it. Your pictures remind me of what is soon going to come ( although we haven’t had any snow yet.) I am looking forward to it.

    Hi Evie,
    And I bet you will get plenty!

  11. Jim Fennessy says:

    Great photos. I love the snowy cranes and tress. If you ever schedule a snowy polar bear workshop, please sign me up.

    Hi Jim, will do!

  12. Dave Klein says:

    Hi Denise! Like you I enjoy all the seasons. I love the colors that fall brings but also feel winter has its special appeal and challenges. Living in Minnesota we can sometimes have winter for six months! Your mention of George Winston was quite nostalgic – his music is a favorite of mine with “December” also being my top pick. As I write this I am visiting Sax-Zim Bog in northern Minnesota and was treated today at dusk to a Great Gray Owl and Northern Hawk Owl as snow began to fall – magical!! Back for more tomorrow 🙂

    Hi Dave, Lucky you! I would love to photograph at Great Gray in snow! Can’t wit to see the images 🙂

  13. Gunnar Numme says:

    Great shots both of them! Both from Japan??
    Here in Norway one should like snow. And I do – esp. when it comes to photography. Planning for a new trip to USA and Canada this winter, Snowy Owls and Harlequin Ducks should also give some snowy landscapes. Would you know if any ducks yet has started appearing at Barnegat, NJ ?? – Best wishes, Gunnar

    Hi Gunnar, Yes, these images are both from Hokkaido Japan. I haven’t had a chance to get out Barnegat yet but I hear that a Snowy Owl has been spotted there and usually if the weather is right the Harlequins appear around Thanksgiving-so you should see them, email me before you go to Barnegat in the event that I have updated information or could meet you out there. Happy Holidays.

    UPDATE: Harlequins have been spotted at the jetty.

  14. Linda Seal says:

    Denise, your “word images” are as beautiful as your photographic images. The combination makes me long for winter.
    My favorite season is spring. I love all the new growth, the sense of awakening and the riot of color in spring flowers.

    Hi Linda, thank you and thank you for sharing your thoughts-spring is a beautiful time of year!
    hugs, denise

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