Cold Decembers

We’ve had a cold snap (as we call it) in the UK. Snowfall over much of the midlands and north of there, although south of London we had frost but no snow.

The image above was shot on the iPhone yesterday on my  walk to buy the daily newspaper. On most days the phone accompanies that walk and yesterday there were a number of pauses to ‘catch’ the fallen leaves edged by frost. Today is different, warmer with no frost, but colder weather is set to return. In the UK we are inclined to make a bit of a meal of snowfall. Truth is we are not accustomed to it often enough and therefore there has been a failure to invest in the necessary infrastructure to cope with the relatively rare occasions when it is needed.

The last time we had a significant cold December was 2010 and that was really cold and prolonged. I recall going out for a post-prandial (after lunch) walk round the village on Christmas Day to see the icicles hanging a foot long from guttering.

It was a month that lingers long in my memory and the following images are ones that spring to mind as the most evocative of that month – all of them captured on a familiar walk round the outskirts of the village where we used to live.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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34 Responses to Cold Decembers

  1. E. Brooks says:

    It’s been a colder December here then the last few years. These lovely photos could have been captured on the mid-eastern coast of the United States as well. Have a wonderful holiday season!

  2. The light on these is so nice. I’m glad you can get out early.

  3. shoreacres says:

    Honestly, I think a lighter, clinging snow and lingering frost make some of the best winter photos. These are beautiful, particularly the muted colors. My favorites are the tall, straight trees and the snow-holding umbel just below. They’re really splendid.

    • LensScaper says:

      That’s the beauty of lightly falling snow that’s not too wet, it can cling to anything, even an umbellifer. I think you’re right, lightly dusted ground isn’t ruined easily by a few footprints, but deep snow most certainly is.

  4. Sue says:

    Love the ?larches?… Like a lithograph

  5. Heide says:

    What a lovely set of images you’ve captured, Andy! I’m especially fond of your first frame — because although frost-bitten leaves are a common sight in my northern home, your composition and sharp focus really make them shine. Stay warm and keep shooting! 🙂

  6. oneowner says:

    Great frost shot, Andy. If you need for Winter snow, visit us in Webster (Where life is worth living anytime in January, February, and most of March!

    • LensScaper says:

      There’s only been one winter in my life when frost and snow stayed on the ground for weeks on end and that was the winter of 1963 when I was at boarding school in Kent. Unless I count the winter of 46/47 when the winter was worse still, but at that time I was snug and warm in my mother’s womb!

  7. Exquisite! Tell me, why do I so relish pictures of the UK clad in frost and snow! The only reason I can think of is that I really like seeing you experiencing a beauty that lies so close to my northern heart.

  8. paula graham says:

    You nailed it so beautifully and sensitively.

  9. Many people would probably not agree with me, but I think it’s a pity you don’t have much winter in Great Britain. The landscape becomes so beautiful under the spell of winter, like you so eminently show in these gorgeous photos.

    • LensScaper says:

      There’s a part of me that agrees with what you say about UK winter weather. We don’t get enough of ‘winter’ and when it arrives we get anxious and can’t cope very well with it. That’s why I love to get away to the Alps to ski – winter without the anxieties – and sheer enjoyment in the beauty of it.

  10. bluebrightly says:

    What frozen beauty you have found! There are so many amazing things that happen in winter….I haven’t seen icicles like that for years, I think I can taste the brilliance! The 3rd photo, like the 1st, shows what a practiced, sensitive eye you have, beautiful! Well, all the photos show that! Here’s to weather doing interesting things!

  11. Pingback: Preparing to ski | LensScaper

  12. SalGallaher says:

    Great photos!
    Been following the European weather with interest as Im off to a family Xmas in Denmark. Leaving heatwave Sydney on Tuesday. It will be a shock. My last winter there was 22 years ago 🙂
    Any tips on taking photos in the snow? Apart from wearing ten layers of clothing 😁

    • LensScaper says:

      Hi Sal – welcome to my blog. My wife’s nephew moved to Melbourne earlier this year and is now married to an Australian. It will be a shock for you coming to the northern hemisphere. Weather recently swings from mild to cold in the UK and looks likely to stay that way for another week or so. For snow images I routinely set the camera to matrix metering and usually set the exposure compensation to minus half a stop. That in most circumstances eliminates blown highlights. If in doubt try three exposures to begin with bracketed around the correct Fstop – for example minus half a stop, correct exposure and plus half a stop and then check the histogram and see what seems to be giving the best image without clipping of highlights or shadows. Hope that helps.

      • SalGallaher says:

        Thanks a bunch for your detailed tips.
        Yes I know it will be a shock to experience such cold again. But Im focusing on the excitement of this new photography challenge. And of course of being with my family for xmas.
        Thanks again. A merry xmas to you

  13. Great photo of the wintery season!

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