Only the core of the trees remain. The leaves that give us the sense of forest have succumbed to the force of the changing seasons and now lie on the ground that will absorb them to become next spring’s fertilize. What remains are the skeletons of the forest – trunks, limbs, branches, and twigs – reaching out to be defined by the sky and sunlight. Now we see them for what they are and can pay attention to the details of their skin and appendages. Rough bark, snaggly branches, fractal protrusions that together make up the framework of the woods.
Winter’s approach brings on the time of B&W, images defined and governed by tones of grey from black to white, of light wrapping gradually around surfaces to reveal their character and texture. I used to dread the coming of this season, the time of the year that robs me of the color I enjoy, but now I see it as another classroom to teach me a more simplified way of seeing. To look and observe the essence of the subjects, to take advantage of the positive and negative spaces they occupy in the composition.
And to learn how to portray scenes in a manner other than the cold, indifferent, stark look I’ve always found this season to show. That’s one of this winter’s lessons. As you can see from the above, I’ve got a ways to go. We’ll see how it turns out.