Winter White and Red (1 of 2)

From Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age by Robert Hirsch:

“We all know what time is until someone asks us to explain it; then, even physicists find the nature of time to be inexplicable. Time is more baffling than space. It seems to flow past us or we appear to move through it, making its passage seem subjective and incomprehensible. Yet a camera can purposely stop time and spatially add the aspect of physical dimension within a framed area of visual space, giving photographs exceptional properties that other visual media do not possess….”

“When it comes to photographic imagemaking, people have plenty of questions about cameras but don’t often ask about how best to accomplish their visual goals. What determines the success of an image is not the camera, but the knowledge of the person operating the camera. The principal job of a photographer is looking, which defines all photographic processes. Good photographs are made by learning to see. Good photographers become skilled at following their eyes and seeing things others overlook…. A good photograph creates a memory in a viewer by communicating an experience to another….”


The visual energy of a color depends greatly on its relationship to other colors and its placement within a scene rather than on the size of the area it occupies. Imagine a white, in-ground swimming pool on a calm and clear afternoon reflecting harmonious blue-sky colors that are even, smooth, and unified. Now throw in a red beach ball. Pow! It generates a visual explosion that surprises the eye and instantly becomes the point of emphasis. Its solitariness stands out as a point of visual magnetism. Its atypical individuality within the unified space introduces needed variety into the composition….”

Is it spring yet? No, ‘fraid not, but I’ve decided to wrap up my winter photo series with two last posts featuring some hints of the season not too far away — a bit of spring preminiscence, shall we say. In another month or so — unless we have some freezing weather or a freak two-inch snowstorm — we’ll be all set to once again pretend it’s spring and there will be very little to differentiate wintery photos from springy ones. Meanwhile, I’m working on a series of architectural detail photos — something I hardly ever do but wanted to try — which prompted me to learn more about symmetry and balance in photographic composition, and I’ll start unrolling those in a few days.

The first gallery shows some paperwhite lilies from Oakland Cemetery gardens, growing in a shady spot near the cemetery’s entrance. Despite their small size and the fragile, translucent white of their blooms, they seem perfectly happy to flower all winter long — in smaller quantities, perhaps, but still producing some nice floral clumps.

There are several varieties of the plant in the following gallery growing on the property, both white versions like these and some red/pink variations that I’ll upload for the next post.

After scouring a few of my plant and southern gardening books, I just couldn’t identify this one, so I used the web site Plantnet to see if the internet would help. This was the first time I’d used Plantnet — where you can upload multiple photos of flowers or other plants, and get a response with probable identities. The site suggested that these were flowering quince shrubs, which I confirmed by searching for flowering quince images and comparing them to my photos.

This gallery features camellia blossoms; camellia is a hardy winter-blooming shrub or small tree that apparently produces a large volume of blooms all year round, shrugging off cooler winter temperatures. The blooms are a richly saturated red, and the petal that had fallen from another branch — in the first two photos — seemed to add a nice, elegant touch to the unopened flower.

Thanks for reading and taking a look!

My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:

Work, Walk, Discover: Hydrangeas in Winter

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (1 of 2)

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (2 of 2)

Winter Gold (1 of 2)

Winter Gold (2 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (2 of 2)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (2 of 3)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (3 of 3)

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Winter Gray and Winter Green (3 of 3)

Here’s the last of three galleries featuring photos in a gray and green theme that I previously posted in Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3), and also in Winter Gray and Winter Green (2 of 3).

Thanks for taking a look!

My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:

Work, Walk, Discover: Hydrangeas in Winter

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (1 of 2)

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (2 of 2)

Winter Gold (1 of 2)

Winter Gold (2 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (2 of 2)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (2 of 3)

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Winter Gray and Winter Green (2 of 3)

Here’s the second of three galleries featuring photos in a gray and green theme that I first posted (and described how they came about) in Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3).

Thanks for taking a look!

My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:

Work, Walk, Discover: Hydrangeas in Winter

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (1 of 2)

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (2 of 2)

Winter Gold (1 of 2)

Winter Gold (2 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (2 of 2)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3)

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Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3)

From More Than a Rock: Essays on Art, Creativity, Photography, Nature, and Life by Guy Tal:

“Creativity is a complex subject and one not yet fully understood, making the causes of creative blocks a matter of some speculation. Any number of factors can contribute to them, ranging from external demands and distractions to internal states of mind. Whatever the cause, creative blocks are very real, are very common, and may even be unavoidable. Many and varied remedies for creative blocks have been proposed over the years, indicating two truisms about them: there is no known guaranteed solution, and different situations and different personalities may call for different approaches. 

“While an absolute solution to creative blocks is not known, one thing can be stated with certainty: the worst thing you can do when experiencing them is to exacerbate the situation. As many thinkers noted, we may not be in control of what happens to us, but we are in control of how we respond to it. In any such situation two things worth consciously resisting are anxiety and panic. To do so, remind yourself that creative blocks happen to everyone, and they are temporary in nature. Rather than trying to force yourself to be creative (an endeavor almost guaranteed to fail) … have faith that in time the muses will again find you.”

Last week, a day before we were about to begin yet another of the southeast’s infamous three-day rain events, I realized I was caught up on post-processing all the photos I had taken for my winter photo projects so far, and headed over to the Oakland Cemetery gardens to queue up another batch to work on. As I walked through the property, I kept passing by things I’d already taken pictures of and didn’t want to repeat; and after an hour of that, I was a little stuck in that “I can’t find anything to photograph” anxiety that picture-takers sometimes experience. Of course — like a lot of anxieties — that feeling isn’t based on anything real, but instead reflects a lack of relaxed open-mindedness, especially when we think we’re looking for something (and don’t know what). So I shut off the camera and retraced my steps, just listening to the wind and the flocks of chirping birds flitting from tree to tree — sounds drowned out, occasionally, by the thunder of trains changing tracks just outside the cemetery walls.

Back toward the cemetery entrance, starting over, I came across the scene shown in the first two photos in the gallery below: a juniper branch pretending to be a vine, crawling across the front steps of a mausoleum door. The scene presented a nice set of contrasting colors, but especially (to me) the softer contrasts between the pine branches and the weathered gray/green colors in the door suggested winter. So I went color-hunting again, this time for scenes where shades of gray were dominant, seeking out those where gray contrasted with green, or gray highlighted some interesting textures or shapes. Four hours later … I had caught many gray-green things on camera and ended out with 45 happy photos; here are the first fifteen.

My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:

Work, Walk, Discover: Hydrangeas in Winter

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (1 of 2)

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (2 of 2)

Winter Gold (1 of 2)

Winter Gold (2 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (2 of 2)

Thanks for reading taking a look!

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Winter Seeds and Berries (2 of 2)

The gallery below is the second of two (the first one is Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)), where I aimed my camera at examples of plants transitioning through winter at the Oakland Cemetery gardens.

My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:

Work, Walk, Discover: Hydrangeas in Winter

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (1 of 2)

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (2 of 2)

Winter Gold (1 of 2)

Winter Gold (2 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)

Thanks for taking a look!

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