Night Light


NightLight3Sometimes when I feel like my work or ideas are getting monotonous I try to think of my camera as a sort of sketchbook and think of ways I might capture ‘sketches’ of the landscape rather than more ‘representative’ photographs. I’ll try using double exposures, long exposures and/or maybe camera movement to get a different sort of feel happening.

NightLight2These are a few images from a snowy winter evening when I went out to just play. No expectations or specific ideas – in my mind I was simply sketching the night and following my intuition as I experimented. I made setting adjustments as the camera gave me feedback. At times I used flash to capture the snowflakes and elements in the foreground along with exposures lasting several seconds, and at times also moving the camera to see what might happen.

NightLight4In the first image you can see that I was moving my camera up and down which created light trails from a light source on the other side of the woods. A strange image but there is something about it that I find oddly appealing. Perhaps it reinforces the idea that a camera is a tool with endless possibilities and every so often I need to be reminded of this.

I wasn’t initially planning on posting these as they seemed to be more about process than result – technically they are quite noisy – but I sort of like the soft-focused, grainy look of them and in the end they really are sketches of a snowy winter night.

© Karen McRae, 2014

it’s been a winter,

he said

yes, it has been
a winter

The First Throw

The thing to consider about weeping willows, is that they are inherently mischievous.

There are many stories to support this thought. Tales of entanglement, trickery and enchantment. Stories also, of their wisdom.

If you lived much of your childhood beneath a graceful willow, you know the stories of wisdom are true. You will know, too, of their affability.

But, when you stop beneath a snow-laden willow on a day in late winter, you might be reminded of their playfulness. For the trees are awakening.

And while you are veiled in its beauty – when you feel encompassed and safe; it will start the battle then.

For what is wisdom, without humour?


it’s been a winter,
he said

yes, I love that it’s been a winter

© Karen McRae, 2013


The essence of a day etched by falling snow.

BlurringtheLines_Snow7Similar to the previous post, these photographs are made using a slow shutter speed and camera movement, but with very different weather conditions and light.

© Karen McRae, 2013

Between Snowfalls

There is nothing minimalist about this landscape. In a way it is almost overwhelming in its tangled complexity and beauty. I find it a difficult landscape to photograph on a clear day in bright sun. I was skiing here the day before in diffused ethereal light, but regrettably, I did not take my camera. I am here often in the winter, though…
SnowBlossomsThe trees laden with “snow blossoms”.

LookingUp2Gatineau Park, Quebec. Ski heaven.

© Karen McRae, 2013

A Few Flakes

A last glimpse of one of the garden seed heads I’ve been documenting the last few months – crowned with a little snowflake. The whole lot of them are now winter-cloaked in many layers of these tiny crystal forms. It is mostly white world here.
FrostedWindowA frosted window.


© Karen McRae, 2012