It's the first day of 2011 and I'm excited about the new photographic opportunities this year will bring! I'm going keep expanding on the things that people want to know more about i.e., gear, places to shoot, and timing. So in this post I'll touch a bit on all three. . .
The new year as kicked off with fantastic weather. Here in Glacier Park, its 4 degrees and blowing 30 with 40 mph gusts, the drifts are in feet with bare ground in some places! Perfect for getting outside -- for about a minute! LOL Really, the sky's are clear, the wind is blowing and its cold, but that's what it's suposto be doing here and that's part of the reason we live in this place - extreme weather - if you don't love it you don't last.
Place's to Shoot
I'm excited to get out and shoot. The days are getting longer and it wont be long till the canada geese, snow geese and pintail ducks show up. Before that however there's lots of winter scenes to capture. On a given day you can go out and photograph what's right in front of your face, no matter where you live. With just a little persistence and some focus you'll find that there's a lot of opportunity right under your nose. If you're here in Glacier Park, or you're planing a trip out, be sure to take some time along the middle fork of the Flathead River. From West Glacier and the Flathead Valley, just go east along highway two toward Essex, along the south boundary of the Park. There are several great locations along the middle fork from which to capture some wonderful winter landscape photos of Glacier Park.
If you're at home and need some inspiration why not watch the weather and over the course of the next month or two, shoot one or two different weather related theme images every week. Have your camera ready (this usually is one big difference between people who capture stunning images and those that take snap shots, they use use their cameras) and when you see something weather related, it could be the sky, an icicle hanging off the rain gutter of the house, rain coming down sideways, wind blowing trees down or water so hard it's clearing out a pond, and one of my favorites, trees! Use your senses and if you see weather, shoot it! You'll be surprised at how interesting your images will be if you just focus on a theme, like weather, and shoot it.
Here's a tip, clear your mind and just let your emotions and feelings direct your hands to aim the camera. In today's hustle and bustle life - fast and relentless - you need to take a break. Photographing themes like weather can be a great way to give your brain and body a break. For me, when I'm in the "zone" there's nothing else in my mind; it goes dark and dense except for my vision and my focus. It's almost like my mind is floating by itself but it's directing my hands and eyes. . . It's automatic when you can clear your mind and let your emotions focus your photography.
I have to mention again the weather. They say that an army fights on its stomach. Well, a winter outdoor photographers shoots on the temperature of her/his body. If the fingers and hands get cold it's all over. So, i like to use hand warmers. I buy a new case every year. For about a buck each (two per pack) you can have warm hands all day long. I slip them into my mittens (they have a clove that covers my hand and fingers and the mitten folds over the fingers and is also where the hand warmer pouch is located) but if you don't have that kind of equipment, just put them inside your gloves or in you pockets and use them to warm your fingers when necessary.
It's still blowing here in Glacier Park, but it's time for me to go outside and get a whiff of it!
Cheers, and happy new year to you all!
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