The Brown Seasons

April 19, 2022

Here in Southern Ontario, the transition between seasons can often be a long-drawn-out process. We complain a lot in spring – that is certain – but there is also truth to the fact that we are teased with a day or two of perfection before being pulled back into weeks of cold, wet, dreary weather – and more recently – extreme wind.

I’m talking about weather because it really impacts my motivation to get out and shoot landscapes and wildlife during these times. When the sun sits behind the clouds and the light remains flat from morning to night, subjects don’t have a chance to pop or shift. I lose focus because colours seem monochromatic and the depth of field is narrow.

I’m all in for a crisp and bright winter day or for waterdrops after rain or – even better – a colourful spring walk. These keep me moving forward and finding new frames to work with. But the early spring and late fall days when everything seems brown, grey and tired are just crushing. These are the times that I retreat to improve my studio lighting work, drool over new gear online, or to think about composition and work through some computer processing skills.

And, I revel in the thought that soon I will capture more than a few phone shots quickly taken as remembrance for better conditions and then move on, head down and collar pulled up.

I’m complaining again….aren’t I? Well, I do believe that, as a Canadian, it is my inherent right to complain about the weather – I’m pretty sure it’s a national sport. Every year it feels as though the Dementors from Harry Potter are here to take all happiness out of my work.

But now, as I watch the buds on the trees begin to unravel, I research with anticipation new places and moments to play with that are more than rumbling clouds or muddy ground. Bring on the next season! Oh no, wait….is that snow?...in April??...Really???

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