Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park – Green Season
Sometimes you have to get out and see what all the fuss is about when green season hits the Canadian foothills. Late evening spring light is best viewed and experienced from outside of the car window so find a park and get walking.
In the case of Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park in late spring, taking a short walk west from the parking lot can make all of the difference in the world, at least in the prairie and foothills world. After a week of big rain the thirsty land dresses up green almost overnight. Combine the big prairie sky and fading warm light and you have colours sleeping together in harmony; greens and yellows and blues melting into one another. In the colour wheel world a palette of analogous colours are a good thing. So get out of your box, whatever that may be, and look for some colours cozying up at a park nearest you.
For more on Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park see:
Havana-Creeping into Modernity One Stroke at a Time
When Havanans have access to colour, they apply it with a heavy brush … intense, powerful, striking dabs on an otherwise monochromatic and deteriorating landscape. Colour has always been around, lurking in Havana cultural life, most noted and obvious, the arts, music and architecture. Although suppressed over the past half century, new, bold shades are seeping out from the cracks in the canvas. While paint is desperately lacking in the crumbling architecture, and vision can be clouded by exhaust spewing Ladas, vivid colour is applied liberally to the everyday palette – the showy street costume, the impromptu sax playing in a refurbished plaza, “American cars” dressed up in pop colours cruise by, the full spectrum and style displaying in street art. Locals meander down the Paseo del Prado (a long, wide boulevard built in the late 18th Century) in sexy, current, bright attire – chatting vigorously and, generally, minding their business. Cuban art is on display under tropical vegetation waiting for the highly cherished tourist currency. Locals usually just browse.
For more on the Cuban colour palette see
Creativity After the Winter Solstice
What do chickadees and gardeners and druids and photographers have in common? The longest night and the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere has been celebrated as Winter Solstice for about 6000 years old. Seriously, that long! Green boughs, wassail, honey, bread and cheese … although druids are usually associated with the Celtic celebrations, there have been “end of the shortest day” festivals and customs worldwide for every letter of the alphabet for nearly forever. Although the Winter Solstice marks change and hope, the whole concept is a little trying for the photographer with nippy fingers replacing refreshed batteries that refuse to offer life in dippy temperatures.
With the Winter Solstice almost immediately overtaken by one of it’s own, that “tinsel and turkey” festival, it’s hard to keep focused on the long haul. How do photographers remain zealous about the prospect of weak light, grey skies and colder temperatures for months to come? It is time to address how to maintain enthusiasm and creativity through the duller months.
Embrace a Monochromatic Scheme-
The brilliant colours of fall have faded into a winter palette that is primarily neutral in tone. Relish it, absorb it, create it! Think black and white and shades of those tones, cool cyan works with descending thermometers as warm, fading light represents the mood of the period. Introduce tension and conflict – this is an element that is not as easy to create in a full colour spectrum but tension happens with a splash of dramatic colour on an otherwise neutral scene, a focal point in an otherwise neutral scene. Just enough splash to draw the eye and force a comparison with the widespread neutrality is key.
As for the gardener, they gleefully relish more light to muddle through “fresh off the press” seed catalogues in anticipation of itsy bitsy seedlings reaching up in longer daylight hours. And, the chickadee? They change their tune to a mating call when daylight hours lengthen (almost to the day although a few get mixed up and dally initiating their “ode to longer daylight” tune). The song can be likened to “cheeseburger” or “hello sweetie”. The next time you are looking for creative images outside, listen for chick a dees asking for a burger and you will know the days are now getting longer.
More tips soon. In the meantime, don’t hibernate your equipment. Adopt the “Post Solstice” and get out there and shoot!
“Black and white are absolute…expressing the most delicate vibration, the most profound tranquility, and unlimited profundity.” Shiko Munikata
For more creative ideas see also