You’d think making five photographs for this month’s theme would be straightforward. Plain, uncomplicated images should be simple to create.
Instead, this month’s challenge turned into an extended lesson on a basic tenet of composition: keep working the scene until the frame excludes anything extraneous. This meant trying multiple angles, heights and distances before finally pressing the shutter button. It also prompted me to turn away from majestic mountain landscapes and search out singular details of nature.
We have a lot more snow on the ground than is typical for February. The downside of deep snow was that I got a lot of snow in my boots as I moved around trying to find just the right spot for taking each photograph. This was outweighed by the fact that a heavy blanket of snow makes for cleaner subject matter. Another challenge of snow is that white balance and contrast can be tricky. Thank goodness for Lightroom!
1. Shoreline Shadows
One of my favourite things about the sun hanging low in the sky all winter is how it creates long shadows. We were out walking along the shoreline of Quarry Lake at just the right time for some shoreline trees and the two of us to cast shadows that looked a bit like elaborate gingerbread trim on a Victorian house, or maybe one of the more elaborate paper cut-outs in those fancy pop up cards. I instructed Mr. GeoK to move this way and that until he was perfectly framed between two tree shadows and then pressed the shutter on this one.
2. Fence Line Shadow
One effect of long shadows is that slight bends in wire fencing are exaggerated, so that the shadow of the horizontal wires looks like a heart rate tracing or a seismograph during an earthquake!
3. Profile in Ice
Most of Three Sisters Creek (including the big waterfall) is frozen solid. In one of the few open stretches I spotted a profile in ice that stopped me in my tracks. Mother Nature’s arrangement of frost flowers, ice and water came together in a profile of our youngest son! The simple trick to this realization was to filter out everything else within my field of vision.
4. Grass in Snow
We learned about UK-based landscape and travel photographer Bruce Percy from our guide in Iceland. Ever since that trip in 2015, I have studied his work on his website and his occasional tweets. I applied what I’ve learned to compose this simple, nature detail.
5. Fly Me To the Moon
Definitely not as exciting as watching two rockets land simultaneously, but this simple arrangement of blue and white sparked a variety of thoughts and ideas, including vacations, space travel, night photography, and the jazz standard made famous by Frank Sinatra.
That’s it from me for this month. Simple means different things to different people, so please check the link up at the bottom of this page to see other interpretations.
And if you’re looking for a way to stay motivated to improve your photography skills, consider joining PJ’s photo blogging challenge. The monthly themes make for a low stress “photo assignment” with plenty of time to get creative. New participants are welcome any time. The key requirement is five photos; the amount of accompanying text is up to you. The next theme will be posted at a ‘lil Hoohaa on March 1st. Won’t you join us?