Winter Light (Abstracted Landscapes)







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

45 thoughts on “Winter Light (Abstracted Landscapes)

  1. I like the idea of landscape sketches Karen. I certainly wouldn’t consider these failures.I love the winter colours. The last image is my favourite. That blue and beige work so well together! 🙂

    1. Yes, the last image I consider successful, I think. Perhaps the others are merely unsuccessful within my original intention. on of the things I like about these sort of images is that they are often surprising. Anyway, the light was lovely! Thanks very much, Adrian.

  2. On a recent trip across Wisconsin from Milwaukee to Madison on a snowy, wintry day, I found myself in the passenger’s seat with my camera and tried out your drive-by technique. It took me a while to figure out how to slow my shutter speed down enough to get a nice blur, but I finally got one approximating. I have no idea how to do the layering thing, but I had fun “playing Karen” with the camera and the landscape for my own curiosity!

  3. Captured atmosphere with the warmth of the light, — they are quite charming photos.
    Not having a stand-out center of blur is not a matter of failure = more spreading atmosphere.

  4. Very interesting to hear your feelings about these pieces and the context in which you revisited and reevaluated their impact. I enjoyed the rushing horizontals of these images very much as well as the light and air *in everything.*

  5. Brushing of winter ~ the light of winter shines through these images which make them so interesting… The last shot, with the way the light hits the grasses in movement is quite drawing and beautiful.

  6. The photos are great, there is no need to be so sceptical. And thank you for sharing the trailer to Mr. Turner film – I will definitely watch it as I discovered his works of art only a short time ago.

  7. I see the dreamy subtly of the landscape here. The way we see it and often dismiss it. These images remind our eyes to LOOK and SEE and become entranced with their beauty. They are an invitation to step into the dance and revel in it. I’ll have the see “Mr. Turner”.

  8. Great stuff, Karen >>> not only some of your images, but Turner too! To me, quite simply, he is a hero – and a vast inspiration too. There is a quote of his that, for me, speaks volumes – “I did not paint it to be understood, but I wished to show what such a scene was like.” – that says it all, and it can equally be applied to photography. Thank for the clip from the film!

    And Turner’s words apply to so many of your images too, like these. As always, I have favourites, the ones that do it most for me. The third one down for those dark, bending, looking like they are windswept branches – it really conveys the fury of the passing moment.

    And at the bottom, the different light on a different day – oh those blues in combination with the pale golds of those reed heads – wowee! Good stuff! Adrian

  9. Hi Karen, I think it’s the only time I’ve said, “I love drive-by shootings”. 🙂 The colors and suggestions of form are serene and the image with the oat grasses as contrast is wonderful.

  10. Hi Karen – I recognise this type of shot immediately – to quote Jane Lurie .- drive by shootings are wonderful, and sometimes you just cannot stop the car in time, or there is nowhere good to stop without getting run over, or else the driver has run out of patience with your need to stop at every corner 🙂 – the series looks great – each one individually might be considered a “non-pass” but together they are like watching “life frozen in motion” if that makes sense, or impressionist landscapes – wonderful – Poli

  11. I really love these. It’s funny, but awhile back I noticed that most of my iPhone photos were blurry. My phone is glitchy and slow, I’m constantly overcaffeinated, and my hands shake. Needless to say, I need a pretty heft dose of IS to produce a crisp shot. 🙂 BUT. One day I decided to just go with the flow and use the blur to my advantage. I made a collection of images in which I deliberately turned or yanked the camera sideways while shooting. Honestly? I think those are some of my favorite images. All that to say: kudos to you for seeing the possibilities inherent in failures and flaws. That’s just what artists do. 🙂 I’m so glad I discovered your blog!! Can’t wait to explore more…

  12. I really like the soft focus of your photographs. They have a tonalist feel to them that I really enjoy. Very nice! Rita

  13. I know many of would love to come up with what you consider “failures”.

    I’ve done quite a few drive-by’s a few years ago, on multiple weekly trips between Montreal and Ottawa, when we were moving to Montreal… but none like yours. I strive to freeze time while capturing movement… I had planned to resurect of few of them, to show them during the upcoming weeks.

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