People do crazy things sometimes. Rock climbers climb up walls of rock…straight up with only the security of a rope. Hands protected with gloves. Feet wearing special cleated shoes to help with grasping the walls assisting with upward and onward movement. Skydivers jump out of perfectly fine airplanes, falling rapidly thousands of feet downward toward the hard surface of earth depending solely on that fact that some string will pop open a parachute assisting in a softer and safer landing.
Men fight alligators and crocodiles. Race car drivers maneuver cars at extremely high rates of speed, around and around, trusting they will make the next curve, hoping the others will also. People jump into Lake Michigan on New Year’s Day for the Polar plunge into frigid, frozen waters.
Photographers…well…we get up at all wee hours of the day to capture a sunrise. We will stay out until all hours of the night to do some night photography. Sometimes in the depth of the forest where city lights are non-existent. We will hike for miles and miles to find the wildlife or waterfalls. We’ll climb mountains, although not necessarily straight up, to capture a view of the world, a cloud covered mountaintop, reflections in the water.
We do this carrying bags of camera equipment, laptops, tripods. If we plan correctly, we will carry a headlamp light and gps unit and hopefully drinkable water and snacks to munch on. Sometimes we carry a flashlight in hopes to practice some light painting or some tea lights to light up a rock structure.
During the winter, we live for the snow…hopefully freshly fallen and sticking to all the tree branches or a morning of frozen fog on tree branches. We hike through varying depths of snow or during blizzard conditions to capture the beauty of weather. Like the Polar plungers, we venture out to the frozen tundra of Lake Michigan with cleated shoes, to walk the uneven terrain of frozen waters to capture ice formations. At wee hours of the morning. In frigid temperatures that are even more frigid if you venture to the side of the lake which greets you with what seems like hurricane force, arctic winds. To capture the majesty of a barren tree. Although these adventures may seem minimal to those more daring, believe me...the experience of capturing that which we are passionate about is just as much of an adrenalin rush to us.
This is what followed after our early morning trek to photograph nature made ice sculptures. A ride to one of the local state parks, Kohler-Andrea in hopes of capturing a famous photographic spot of winding boardwalks amidst sand dunes with the lake as a back drop.
Well, it is winter in the Midwest. Thoughts of barren boardwalks are dreams. I followed the trails to capture photos of exposed tree branches and dunes covered with snow and even barren sandy areas. In an attempt to capture something new and different and closer to the water, I worked my way to the other side only to be confronted not by sun and the forty degree temperatures that were predicted for the day, but gray skies and blizzard like winds that immediately changed our pale winter skin to frost bite rosy.
It wasn’t a lost cause. I did come back with some pleasing photos. Not necessarily what I went for but some surprising landscape photos that actually seemed to capture the mood and weather of the day. (The above was my favorite).
Don’t let the weather discourage you. Don’t stay inside because you don’t think winter has anything to offer. It does. It’s own personality which offers up a complete different aura. A change much appreciated by one that lived in the never changing seasons of the deep south for so many years.