Happy New Year 2021!

Happy New Year written in the snow

Given the events of this past year, I suspect no one was sad to have 2020 come to a close. From the pandemic to politics, it’s been a wild ride! With the New Year off to a less than stellar start, it will be interesting to see how 2021 unfolds…

Finding Winter Calm in the Chaos

Snow covered trail during a winter snow storm.
Snow-covered path along Clear Creek, Golden, CO.

Not everyone is a fan of winter to the extent that I am. Folks have already felt the effects of restrictions causing a bit of stir-craziness. Throw in the cold winter months and it can make things even more challenging.

As one who leans towards introversion, perhaps I’ve managed to navigate the effects of life’s ongoing limited access a bit better than others.

I find winter incredibly calming, especially after snow blankets the landscape from a winter storm. Sometimes bundling up and heading out amongst the snowflakes is just the Nature fix I need – especially now. A scarf can double as a face covering (aka mask) and when it’s cold and snowy, social distancing is not an issue as so few people are out. There’s an incredible stillness.

Snowboarding may not happen for me this season (although perhaps in the spring.) So in the interim, this leaves opportunities to wander about with my camera and take photos.

Snow covered footbridge during winter snow storm.
Where will this snow covered footbridge lead?

This snow-covered footbridge during a storm was an invitation. With no one in sight, it beckoned me. Where will the path lead? What’s on the other side?

With the only sound being the wind, and my foot-steps crunching in the snow, I was transported across. The beauty of this moment is not just the stillness, but the fact that while this may look like some far-off destination, it was all but a mile away!

Scenes like this are one of the reasons I love heading out to take photos on snowy winter days.

Venturing out at Sunrise

Winter sunrise through trees with specialized filters applied for unique effects.
Sunrise through tree branches on a cold Winter morning – specialized filters applied in post-processing..

If you’re an early riser, meeting the morning sun after a snowstorm can be quite rewarding – albeit cold!! Clearing skies tends to equal cold morning temps so layering up is key. Bring out the wool base layers, toe warmers and an extra camera battery!! Have learned the hard way on that one. My little Sony mirrorless tends to suck through battery life on cold days.

On this particular morning I was walking around a local lake. The direction I was walking in at the time had my back against the eastern sky. It was only by chance/luck that I happened to turn around and see the sunrise peaking through the tree branches at that moment.

The initial photo result turned out good enough. However, once in Photoshop it got turned up a notch by applying a filter which gave the photo a more surreal effect. The twisting branches covered in snow appear to come to life. Makes me feel like I was meandering in a fantasy forest.

Make Snow Angels and Smile Faces in the Snow

snow angel in the snow
Be a kid and make a snow angel!

No one can the dispute the intensity of the past year. Isolation, loss, frustration – a range of emotions. Hopefully you’ve found a way to channel some creativity energies regardless of the venue – indoors or outdoors.

You may not have the desire or inclination to venture out in a snowstorm to take photos. But a stroll outside once the sun comes out is good for the soul. No camera, no problem. Be a kid, roll around in the snow and make a snow angel! It’s liberating and fun.

smile face drawn in the snow
Make others smile.

If rolling around in the snow is not your thing, then try drawing smiley faces in the snow.

Break out your camera phone and snap some photos of your efforts. Then send it to friends and family. It will make them smile. Not to mention the folks that walk by and see the positive gesture you’ve left behind. It will make their day too! And may 2021 bring more smiles to all of us 🙂

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