Winter has many moods. It can be bleak in the extreme, but there are other times, when the sun shines, when winter has beauty (despite the absence of colour), and then it has the capacity to lift our spirits. We naturally feel depressed in winter, there’s even a disease associated with the absence of sunlight – SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). January is the month when in general we feel most depressed and there can be many reasons for it, which I won’t list for you today.
When we go out with a camera in winter, the landscape can portray many moods. And especially when the landscape is under snow the contrasts between bleakness and beauty can be very sharp. A little burst of sun can transform a scene, as can the direction of one’s view.
Two images today taken thirteen minutes apart from a walk round the edge of my village in January 2010 in the late afternoon when snow lay on the ground for several days during a very cold spell. They are shown in the order in which they were taken.
The first was taken looking eastwards, across a snowy featureless field towards extensive woodland. It’s bleak, cold, grim. The wood appears to hover between almost featureless bands of white.
A few minutes later I visited a grove of Poplar trees looking westward towards the dying sun. There was a watery light in the sky and the trunks of the trees were plastered with blown snow. Bleak again, a palpable silence, everything still, but there was a very evident beauty in the scene.
So far this winter, there has been no snow and the landscape currently holds few attractions for me. I’ve been busy indoors, de-cluttering in all departments and re-visiting previous winters, finding images that remained un-processed until now. Even viewing images is a powerful antidote to the gloom outdoors.