I dug up this winter photo from the archives, as it was made in 2008. I always liked winter because to me it’s the most special season of them all because it has snow and you can’t really beat that 🙂 Of course that shooting in the snow and cold makes things more difficult (more on that in a future post), but it’s totally worth it. I am usually searching for dreamy scenes and winter is great for them, so it’s only natural that I have a lot of dreamy winter photos.
This photo was taken at the beginning of my serious photographic endeavour, and it struck me after some years that the elements that I search for in a photo are there: the dreamy scene, a natural setting, the human element that gives a sense of scale/lost/awe. It has an eerie lost atmosphere to it, and it seems that the tree is almost in the middle of nowhere. It is a great way to attract the viewer and make him remember the photo, because at the end of the day it is a feeling that makes an image special and this is why I like atmospheric nature photography, and this is why I search for the scenes that make you feel something.
I don’t usually capture photos of wildlife, but in my search for special moments in nature I got a glimpse of them a few times. It’s always like seeing a chimera, a ghost. I know it’s something that many never see and that I don’t see everyday. I also know that these sightings get fewer as time goes by and as we humans destroy the places that wild animals inhabit, so it becomes more and more like seeing a ghost. I feel that I am wittnessing something rare. This is why this feels a bit bittersweet to me.
I was out in the woods in winter photographing when snow started to fall. I started shooting with a tele lens to get the dreamy snowflakes in the frame, and after a couple of minutes I saw this wild deer trough the trees. It didn’t take long before it noticed me and got further and further away from me, but I managed to capture the photo above, along with others. The trees made everything even more difficult, but I like how in the end the tree trunks frame the deer and also the fact that the dark trees contrast with the snowflakes falling. It truly was a magical moment.
It seems that the folks at Stocksy appreciated this special moment too, so now it is available for licensing here.
It seems to me like the last places where you could feel truly remote and hidden from the outside world remain these mountain valleys that are only accessible by actually going up trough the water and wet rock. The sun only shines on small parts of them because of the steep cliffs and so a perfect fantasy eerie atmosphere is created. This is even more so in the evening when the light falls fast and you have to get back to the outside world before the darkness. I remember being careful not to slip on the rocks and lifting my eyes just for a second and seeing the beautiful light and reflections of the warm light shining just for a couple of moments in the dark cold valley.
I was fortunate enough to have the time to capture this image, and it truly reflects the feelings of awe that I had when seeing such great beauty. I then rushed back to the outside world with the darkness behind me engulfing everything, the only light I saw being the hazy reflection of the autumn sky in the cold water. It’s a feeling that stayed with me.
I’ve had this photo added to the curated feed recently on Stocksy.
I’m glad others like it too, because I feel that it has a special winter fairy tale atmosphere. It is a photo taken in 2012, but I couldn’t find the perfect balance when editing it until now, so it spent almost 4 years in the making.
Even tough this doesn’t happen with all my photos, I do spend a lot of time getting everything right, and getting the right feel trough a discrete enough editing. Not to mention the planning of the trip, getting there and actually taking the photos in the right conditions.
Quality does need time, unfortunately the world has less and less time for quality. Just think about how quickly a new book, a new album or a new movie gets obsolete. Everyone just wants the next one and so on. There’s too little place for soul in art nowadays.
There’s been some cold and rainy days where I live. Good for photography but really bad for the equipment and the photographer. The photo above was taken last year, on a similar cold and rainy autumn day. The raindrops flying trough the air are visible in contrast to the dark forest, and the last leaves on the branch give a sense of a late autumn. Sometimes the atmosphere is in the little details. I love the autumn rain, but I do hope the weather gets better – I had to postpone a photo tour because of it.
This moody autumn detail is available for licensing at Stocksy.
There’s something really special and serene about snow falling in complete silence. If the forest is also shrouded in fog, this makes for one of the most serene places I have ever been. When there is no wind and the forest is far enough from any human settlement, you can almost hear the snow falling.
I remember I walked trough the forest for a couple of hours taking foggy winter pics, and because my battery was getting low from the cold and night was approaching, I decided to turn back. Only then the snow started falling and I was mesmerized by the dreamy winter wonderland. I used a 35 mm lens and used a f6,3 aperture to have the group of of trees in the foreground in focus yet still have the snow flakes from the front and back blurry enough to make the whole setting more dreamy. I decided to make the white balance colder to better match what I saw that evening.
It’s one of my favorite winter photos. It brings together elements that I love: winter, fog, the forest, and has that “dreamyness” and atmosphere that I love to see in a photo.