In Passing

Autumn-Dusk2A few more of those slipping-by landscapes ~ Late autumn to winter as we wait on spring.
Tangeled-Garden_Winter-Grasses

[I recently posted the penultimate photograph but I like it paired with the image just below it ~ the unkempt, and the (somewhat) orderly.]

© Karen McRae, 2015

This Might Be It

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TheRapidsinMarch2_goldeneyes

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TheRapidsinMarch7We might have reached the final crescendo of winter cold. Maybe? This might be it for mornings starting out at -25c. How beautiful they can be, though. The clarity of the cold. And a stage set for…ducks. Those goldeneye ducks will push up against the northern iciness as long as there is open water. Surely there are more hospitable places to spend the winter but every year it seems as though there are just a few more of these birds that can’t resist this beautiful river.

The thermometre is rising now. We are destined to feel temperatures above zero in the next few days. It will be especially sweet this year.

Part of me, though, already misses this frosted landscape.

[photographs from yesterday morning]

© Karen McRae, 2015

‘The Tangled Garden’ *

The-Tangled-Garden(click on image for a larger and more detailed view)

*the modern, gritty, winter version.

Which is not at all like the *original Tangled Garden that inspired the title: a painting made almost 100 years ago, all brush strokes and rich autumn colours. The image here is urban: all road salt and gravelly snow at the edges of the concrete city. ‘Painted’ in 1/20th of a second at the press of a button.

But it would be very difficult to create this image again. The landscape and the light change continually. The synthesis of camera movement and car speed would never quite be the same. To me there is something hopeful and lovely about the whole gritty mess; a push and pull between the focused and blurred, between earth and snow. I like, too, how the subtle flecks of gold graze some of the vegetation – the last bit of light before it falls away. And the idea of painting with a camera, and making images that we might not actually see otherwise (but perhaps still feel).

© Karen McRae, 2015

Something in the Air

Light-and-Shadow_-River'sEdge

It has been -20c for a month and a half.

This statement may be an exaggeration but only a slight one. If one wanted to know for sure they could always check here, but why bother. It feels like it’s been -20c for a month and a half. Even for a winter lover it’s a bit cold.

The birds have had enough. I hear them calling for spring in their songs. Perhaps even insisting on it. At least, these sound like spring songs I am hearing. Yes, I am hearing one now…? And the feathered ones seem especially active. But it could be that they are just trying to keep warm.

Nature is pressing on, though. I see the bluejays picking at tight winter buds and catkins on some of the trees (how do they still manage to produce those in this cold?!). The sleepy pussy willows are likely growing those fur coats they need for early spring – I haven’t checked yet.

Anyway, there is something in the air besides -20.

Dozens-of-Waxwings1A flock with dozens of Waxwings, spotted yesterday.

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© Karen McRae, 2015

Sketching the Winter Landscape

sketching-the-landscape-_Gatineau-Park3

sketching-the-landscape-_TheSnowshoerThe Snowshoer

Today felt downright balmy as the temperature briefly climbed all the way to -4c ~ we have been locked in the deep cold for so long, and it’s not over yet. It’s hard to believe spring is (officially) just under a month away. This day was for perfect for playing in the fresh snow, though, so I took my camera along while I was cross-country skiing on the escarpment and attempted to make use of the dull light (which can be suitable for longer exposures). Each of these images was made in-camera using multiple exposures and/or camera movement.

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© Karen McRae, 2015

The Tree Swing

The-Tree-SwingAn early winter photograph made from a moving car (subtly layered with a similar drive-by image). I didn’t notice the swing at first but it now seems rather fitting for the dizzy ‘merry-go-round’ feel of the image.
~A placeholder for summer~

© Karen McRae, 2015

Winter Light (Abstracted Landscapes)

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Winter-Light-and-Shadow10I made the above series of photographs a while ago and had decided that they were pretty much failures. Except.

Except there is something about that luminous winter light and those subtle tones. And perhaps I am reconsidering these images because I recently saw the visually sumptuous movie ‘Mr. Turner’ and these sort of ‘landscape sketches’ have taken on a slightly different meaning. Or perhaps they are still failures, I haven’t quite decided. Either way they are an interesting part of the image making process (for me) so here they are.

Light-and-Shadow-_-GrassesDifferent light on a different day.

[Each one of these images is a ‘drive-by’ photograph, made from the passenger seat of a moving car]

© Karen McRae, 2015