Sketching the Spring Landscape

SpringRoadsideSketch3SpringRoadsideSketch6SpringRoadsideSketch7SpringRoadsideSketch2SpringRoadsideSketch1Camera play: Photographs made from a moving car using  a  ‘point and shoot’ camera (Olympus Tough TG4) and polarized sun glasses as an improvised filter. It’s not very green here yet but we are getting there.

 

(click on smaller images for a gallery view)

© Karen McRae, 2016

Spring is Extinct

LittleGlaciers1

LittleGlaciers5Or, at least, if you lived here you could be forgiven for thinking this is true. It is also true that there are small signs of spring: the pussy willows are indeed popping out of their dark skins, the birds already have a little spring fever, the days are longer, brighter… But it’s still pretty cold. Just yesterday it snowed. Again.

Today the sun was shining, though, with enough warmth to start a slow melt of the little glaciers that line the streets. They are retreating incrementally. I spent hours out in nature but it was only on the walk home, looking at that gritty street-side snow and those small puddles, that I found images I liked. A slow shutter for a slow spring.

LittleGlaciers4

[Images of pavement, snow and ice, made while walking]
*Spring is not really extinct. I hope.

© 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

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.

sketching-the-landscape-_Gatineau-Park1

sketching-the-landscape-_Gatineau-Park4

sketching-the-landscape-_Gatineau-Park6

sketching-the-landscape-_Gatineau-Park2

© Karen McRae, 2015