Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ice Compositions

Somewhere around this time every year, I begin to ponder the matter of colour in photographs, and the inner critic suggests that I eschew colour and wander the winter landscape working solely in black and white photographs. At such times, eyes and mind persist in thinking in terms of abstract monochromatic compositions, ice glossed fractals, snowy textures and whiskery collages created entirely out of frosted branches.

My few hundred acres in Lanark are just perfect for such an exercise in December, great rocks and small stones rimed in crystal, old rail fences outlined in powdery white and bare trees in the stark and windy coves decked out in robes of clear ice. The fallen leaves on the forest floor were once faded and translucent, but now they seem to be acquiring both weight and substance, and they are becoming vivid entities again. They lift their crackling bronze and russet faces as I crunch by them along the trail — they glitter with mad abandon — they sway in their windswept places. "Look, look, oh do look," they call out as I potter on by with camera in hand. "Am we not a banquet for winter eyes and spirits? Feast your eyes on us and be glad."

Leaves and trees certainly are a feast for the eyes and spirit in winter, and perhaps I shall work only in black and white one of these days, but how I can pass up the magnificent colour of these northern days and places, the vignettes offered at every turning?

It occurred to me after writing this blog entry that these photos and words would have been perfect for the theme at One Deep Breath this week (close, closer, closest), but a recent visit from a wise old Barred Owl (Strix varia) was foremost in my thoughts when I wrote yesterday.


Rowan said...

These ice-covered twigs and leaves are amazing, it rarely becomes that cold here in UK, we see frost covered or snow covered branches etc but not the wonderful, sparkling, icy beauty that you have. I like black and white photographs, especially of winter scenes, as they are so stark - it would be a pity to miss those lovely glimpses of colour though.

Unknown said...

WOW!! Beautiful!!

Endment said...

The ice on the twigs is a new kind of beauty for this season... I am glad we haven't yet had ice forming except for crystals on the windows. It was 16 degrees when I got up this morning but only frost.
I always enjoy wandering along with you as you ramble through Lanark - to feast my eyes and ears on those words you share each day