Photography, Snow and the Creative Muse!

©2010 - Cathy Read - Zen snowman - digital image

Do you love snow?

Or hate it with a passion bordering on rage?

Does a hit of the white stuff bring out your inner child or Demon!  Maybe snow’s causing you chaos? We Brits still aren’t prepared for any significant level of snowfall. Much to the surprise of continental Europe and America who marvel at our unpreparedness in the face of a mere few inches of the white stuff

The truth is heavy snow is unusual for most of Brits, especially in the lowlands. ! Scratch that, any snow is unusual for us!

Maybe it’s the novelty, but snow provides masses of inspiration when it comes.

As an artist, my major issue with snow is how to depict it without slipping into the twee. And the association that snow = Christmas.

©2010 - Cathy Read - yellow hollyberries in the snow - digital image
©2010 – Cathy Read – yellow hollyberries in the snow – digital image

Oops, slipped up there!

Or did I throw you off with the green Holly Berries? There’s plenty of scope for interest with snowy pictures. The snow’s texture, the icicles, the way trees droop under the weight of it, light reflecting and sparkling off the snow, outlines smoothed beneath a unifying blanket. But how to create the image?

One technique I employ is photography.

With digital cameras much of the technical skill is within the reach of most people. But there are some tricks to making snowy pictures work.

All that white tends to dazzle the light meter on the camera so there’s a tendency to under exposure as the camera compensates. It’s something I’m only just getting to grips with. And I’ve a lot to learn from people like digicamhelp.

Being something of a wimp and liking to keep my fingers warm (they work better that way). I tend to photograph scenes to use to make art later.

I don’t class photography as my medium. More a way of “instant sketching” But sometimes the results make me happy! Like this one.

©2010 - Cathy Read - Zen snowman - digital image
©2010 – Cathy Read – Zen snowman – digital image

There’s some debate about whether you should draw from photographs. But As long as they’re your own, I see no harm.

With Architecture, for example, pictures can curve upwards. But I like that effect, and occasionally exploit it!

©2010 Cathy Read - Tingewick church - Digital image
©2010 Cathy Read – Tingewick church – Digital image

There’s a school that thinks it’s easier to draw from a photograph because all unnecessary information has been removed. True, perhaps, but when drawing people I’ve always found it harder to achieve a likeness from photographs compared to reality.

Framing pictures and experimenting with composition is easy with cameras.

One day I’ll succeed depicting snow with paint, until then my camera is my friend!

Where do you find your creative muse?

Are you like me, sold on photography?

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