Landscape photography when conditions aren't great.

In Colorado, as is probably true at other places with seasons, winter days aren't always good for landscape photography. Now I’m a huge fan of winter, with its landscapes of pillow-like snow, skiing, and snowshoeing!  A fresh snow has a beauty all its own, and a winter wonderland is a stunning thing to photograph!  But eventually, the snow gets stale  and crusty.  It begins to melt, revealing the brown landscape underneath.  The lakes are icy and unreflective while the shores are muddy.   These are the kinds of days that can be frustrating to photograph.  They might be better days to stay indoors and do other things.  

But, I will always love being outside, regardless of the conditions.  Most of us are not going to photograph great images every day, but getting outdoors is good for the soul.  It’s also good for practicing photography.  Try to find the best composition despite uninteresting subject matter and drab colors.  Strive to get better with using the camera as an instrument, to expose properly, and to take multiple photos to combine later in post-processing.  And hone the eye to look for the least ugly subject and most pleasing composition.  Because if we can practice now, it will come in handy when it counts.  Like any good craftsman or artist, practice is necessary, especially for those of us who do not possess pure talent..

Even if you find it hard to photograph on certain days, bring the camera anyway, and just walk around.  Notice nature.  Look at the trees and the rocks, and see what angles they would look best.  Notice where the light shines on the hills and the valleys during the course of the day.  Imagine what the scene would look like in the Spring or the Autumn and remember to come back then.  Take several reference photos.  But no matter what, you are outside, and it’s hard to have a bad day when you are outside.


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