It's cold outside . . . There's no kind of atmosphere...

By: Steev Stamford

Well it's been a while since I last posted here so it's about time the grey matter came out of hibernation.

And, says he, creating possibly the most contrived lead in line ever - talking of hibernation as I sit here typing I do think hibernation would be a great option as the temperatures go sub zero, rain, snow and grey skies dominate the short UK days and inspiration seems itself to have taken an extended holiday.


But this is an ideal time for many types of photography that perhaps aren't our normal style - for one thing later dawns mean even the slumberly challenged of us can be awake at sunrise without getting up at silly o'clock and the longer, darker evenings make it easier for those of us lucky enough to live anywhere north of the UK Midlands to be in with a chance of Northern Light images.


So often people take a look out of the window, see rain or cloud and give up. One of P4M's long standing members John Farnan has just come back from the US. For those not familiar with John's work he specialises in long exposure, mono images - specialises isn't perhaps a strong enough word - he excels at them. He is the only person I know who goes to the US and complains it isn't cloudy.


Rain brings great opportunities too - all you need is a tripod, big umbrella (to keep the rain off the lens) - and preferably a willing assistant to hold it and the reflections from hard urban surfaces like paving slabs, tarmac and even concrete become wonderful reflection creators yours for the taking. Do this at / after sunset and a whole new glorious range of photo opportunities await you. Recent experience tells me something dry to kneel on is also a good idea.


Still not convinced about going out in the cold?  Try some indoor macro work - spend just a few pounds on a bunch of supermarket flowers, get the tripod out so you're free to arrange and compose and there's a whole world of images to be had. Experiment with flash - master isolating your subject by controlling the light, practice your depth of field skills . . . .


Someone once said "There is no such thing as bad weather - just the wrong choice of clothes." - or something like that anyway. Similarly there's no such thing as 'nothing to photograph' - just a lack of seeing opportunity.


I'm not for one moment saying every such image is going to be a best seller - but every such 'not my normal style' image adds to your experience and enjoyment - who  knows - these cold, dark and wet times may just be the thing to set you on a new photographic journey.