Capturing Winter: A Michigan Challenge


Historically, winter has always been the least inspirational for me as far as photography is concerned. I've never had the best motivation when temperatures drop below freezing (or below zero for that matter) and I don't usually allow myself the opportunities to break that mentality. But overcoming difficulties are often rewarded, and that's something I've learned about winter photography this year. I'd like to think I make growth at a balanced rate, year to year, but this year feels different. I'll be taking a look back at my work over that last few months - analyzing the conditions of the environment I dealt with which helped shape the images I've been able to capture. Through all its challenging qualities, there are a plethora of opportunities for winter photography in Michigan.

Let's go back to January. I know - A Michigan winter starts well before January, but for the sake of keeping this post from getting too long, I'm keeping it to a small number of adventures. I've lined these sections of my time with galleries you can click into so you can view each image at full-screen.

Back in January, we had one day where ice accumulated on every surface. Rain the day before, followed by a huge drop in temperature the next night caused some beautiful, though dangerous conditions for anyone leaving their homes. I knew this was a day I should not waste. I packed up and made my way down to Michigan Beach - a common first stop for me as it's close to home and usually has changing landscapes keeping my interest high from day to day over winter. What I found was a fantastic array of subjects that had a new reason to be photographed. Ice on things that don't normally collect ice in large quantities is intriguing, with or without a camera. While fun, this day was a gimme. Of course I wouldn't have trouble finding a subject when everything around me had a fresh coat of paint.