Spring has arrived and, as is usually the case, weather varies considerably from one day to the next. In Winnipeg we are currently on our second 'snow free' period and we'll see how long this one lasts! Last weekend, I took a stroll in the Seine River forest and captured these images of early spring, leaves trapped in ice after the first thaw.
February 2, 2015
January ended with a blast of cold and surprisingly beautiful sundogs and a halo.
I happened to look out my window early Saturday morning while managing my email messages and noticed that sundogs were accompanying the rising sun. I didn't think much about the weather and within a few minutes, I was driving out of Winnipeg. Within 5 minutes, I made my first stop on the TransCanada Highway east of Winnipeg and soon realized that it was bitterly cold. At -30 degrees Celsius and with a good wind to boot, it was closer to -40 degrees Celsius. One could barely stay out for a few minutes at a time. I must have stayed out there longer than I should have because my daughter noticed 'splotchy skin' on my face, an indication that I had suffered mild frost bite - the price nature photographers often pay for their craft and art!
A sundog (parhelion) is an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a pair of bright spots on either side on the sun, often co-occurring with a luminous ring known as a 22° halo. In the last two images, such a halo surrounds the sun. Sun dogs occur when plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals from very cold weather or from high and cold cirrus clouds refract light. The crystals, which act as prisms, bend the light rays at a minimum of 22°. A halo (complete ring around the sun) occurs if the ice crystals are randomly oriented. However, if the crystals sink through the air and become vertically aligned, the sunlight is refracted horizontally, resulting in sundogs.
I made the following images with a 17-35mm lens set to its widest focal length except for the last image where I used a 24mm PC or tilt/shift lens. Both lens were fitted with a polarizing filter to increase the contrast and saturate the colors. All images, except for the first one, were made near Lorette, Manitoba.
November 12, 2014
The goutweed near the patio is waiting for Mother Nature to smother it under snow. In this season between 'fall and winter', it is, for now, a 'study of lines', in which I created 'order from the chaos'.
November 10, 2014
What a difference a day can make! I made this image of drifting snow on pavement with my iPhone coming back from babysitting the grandkids this evening.
November 10, 2014
Along with water, trees have been a major focal point throughout my career, first while working in forestry for some 18 years and then as a nature photographer for the other half of my working career.
Trees, however, offer much more than practical benefits. They also have a way to make us feel good! Trees have inspired countless artists in their art and are fascinating subjects in themselves. Whether they are depicted as individual objects or as part of a forest scene, they offer the viewer limitless variations on the themes of line, shape, form, texture and color. There is a tree for all seasons!
Trees, however, offer much more than practical benefits. Trees have inspired countless artists in their art and are fascinating subjects in themselves. Trees have a way to make us feel good! Whether they are depicted as individual objects or as part of a forest scene, they offer the viewer limitless variations on the themes of line, shape, form, texture and color. There is a tree for all seasons!
Text from 'A Singular View' - Fine Art Photographs by Mike Grandmaison (2012)
Design by Jef Burnard
Printed by Friesens in Altona, Manitoba
This 'stately' cottonwood is a recent discovery, about 10 minutes from my home. While it is a great specimen, it is not always accessible as the narrow 'dirt road' leading to it is more or less made from 'Winnipeg gumbo' and becomes extremely slippery when wet, even for an all-wheel-drive vehicle. In the middle of winter, the road is not plowed and therefore it is also impassable until the ground dries up in late spring. I made this image yesterday morning just as the first rays of the rising sun began to illuminate the 'plains cottonwood' tree and its wonderful branch structure as the moon was setting in the western sky. I made three, overlapping images (up and down the tree) to create a panorama with the 'shifting' movement of my 20mm PC lens (perspective control). I then decided to crop the image to a square format because it just 'felt good'.