Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

Prairie Sunrise

Prairie Sunrise
Prairie Sunrise

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Winter Woods

I am often struck by the seasonal colors that nature chooses to share with our senses. No single season is better than another in that regard, just different. Some may prefer the colors of summer, or spring, and of course fall, but for some reason the colors of winter tend to get overlooked.  

I enjoy hiking in the winter woods and I am fortunate to have several locations nearby where I can do so. Each location retains its own flavor and atmosphere but it is the season itself that imparts that special feeling one experiences when exploring this moment of nature.

The colors are soft, often a blend of gray and shades of brown. Light from an overcast sky filters through the canopy of trees filling the woods with a soft glow that appears to engulf everything with a constant all encompassing light. There are virtually no shadows, just subtle variations in textures and tones. Light from a blue sky day on the other hand penetrates at sharp angles deeply into the woods and creates an atmosphere of harsh and brilliant colors. 
 I much prefer to hike through the woods on an overcast day. The color of the woods is transformed into a single hue that appears as a homogenized brown where greens, grays and pale yellows provide highlights and accents. The song of a small creek performs a constant symphony as it adds sparkle and life to an otherwise silent woods. Depending on the weather, across the ground dried leaves crunch and crackle, or are soft and silent, and the aroma of fresh earth fills the air. Throw in a blanket of snow and the woods takes on an entirely different feel and look.


The winter woods can provides a welcome relief from the pressures of life and soothes the soul so completely that all the anxiety and stress we force ourselves to endure seem ever more insignificant. The colors of winter are soft and reflective like the soothing words of a poetic lullaby. We only have to find time to seek out their curative words.



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