This week’s theme is directly inspired by real life events. Specifically me being cold.
There’s a joke between my friends and I that I’m a bit like Jack Frost and wherever I am, there the snow shall be as well. Without fail over the last few years I’ll be in the airport and it will be snowing causing delays. I’ll arrive somewhere and the next day it will snow. A few weeks ago I was in Vermont with some friends when we awoke to find the hillside covered in a blizzard of heavy snow with trees blocking the road. I flew home to Canada and, you guessed it, the next day it snowed.
I don’t mind the snow to be honest, I find it very peaceful to sit on the sofa with a fire roaring and some music playing while the snowflakes slowly drift downward to earth. It’s soothing. It’s calming. I learned last year that snow actually makes the environment quieter, there is more space between snowflakes which means there’s less room for sound waves to bounce around, plus snowflakes have incredible absorption qualities that really do make the world seem quieter when it snows.
What I do mind however, is the cold. I like wearing layers and wrapping myself up in scarves and mittens and finding excuses for an extra cup of coffee but I don’t like the cold. Especially photographing in it. Over the years I’ve tried many different concepts in the snow with varying degrees of frostbite as a result. In fact, one of my photos that really helped push my career forward was taken in the freezing cold.
It was -30 and nearing the end of January, I had about 30 minutes of daylight left and ran home from work to grab my camera and some Coke bottles and get to the forest near my apartment. I threw the bottles into the snow, set up my camera, pushed the timer and hopped over a log into the snow. I heard the camera shoot the photo and went back to check and my battery had gone from 100% to 0% in one photo, the cold sucked the life right out of it.
There was also the time I was in the midst of an Alphabet inspired project and had reached the letter J. It was february and therefor still freezing cold in Canada. I had an idea to hang some jars from a tree that had been weighed down by snow and formed a perfect arch way. I trudged out into the darkness and found the tree in the forest, using some wire I hung the jars in varying heights from the bent tree. I placed some lit tealight candles inside and set up my camera. Just as I sat beneath the jars for the image, one of the jars exploded right near my head. I quickly realized, frozen glass plus candle means explosions! Sure enough a few more jars exploded and I was lucky to have got at least one shot that worked for my image!
For this week’s photo I wanted to go back to the peaceful feeling that cold can bring. The cool colour tones, the feeling of silence and peace. I wanted to capture that feeling of snowfall, imagining a gentle creator of the snow sending it out into the world to be delivered one by one. The day I shot the photo I walked to one of my favourite places and sure enough, felt that aching cold in my fingers and trying to channel it into the image.