A little winter delight

A little winter delight
The Sun above the trees – Fairbanks, Alaska | Prints or Wall Art

It’s February, and I can feel the light returning! Fairbanks is gaining just under 7 minutes a day of sunlight at this writing.

The Sun only rises about 2.0° above the horizon on the winter solstice. We barely get any light, living on the backside of a hill and with trees blocking the horizon. The darkness is taxing. Luckily, I don’t suffer much from seasonal depression, but I still feel the effects. I started to feel much more tired than I should have this winter. It gets harder to get moving in the morning.

Now the Sun rises to 10° above the horizon. In February, we start to feel the return of sunlight. It feels warm, even if it’s freezing out. It’s a weird feeling.

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I take many photos, but I’m rarely happy with them. Every image I look at, I criticize myself for how it turned out. Not in a bad way, just looking at what I could have done differently. I’m not at all unhappy with the photo above. I wouldn’t have done it differently, even though some of the classic compositional elements are out of place.

Any movement from this spot would have broken the smooth white framing of the snow on the bottom or blown out the image from the light of the Sun. Or it’s just that I’m starting to feel some of that sunlight again. Or I’ve remembered taking my vitamin D for the last few days.

Afternoon sunlight on the trees along the UAF trails | Prints and Wall Art

I’ve been taking many photos of our beautiful boreal forests, snow and snowflakes, and the winter light the last few weeks. Recently I wrote about how I had gone through a photography rut the previous year and what I was doing to turn things around. I’m happy to report that things are looking up, I took over 500 photos in January, and I’m still going strong at the beginning of February.

Without a doubt, I’ve been focusing on the light. How could I not? I mean, the light is hitting the ground now!

Light on the snow – light on the ground | Prints and Wall Art

The light is a subtle reminder that I have a lot of partially written draft articles that need attention and finishing, including many on light and color. A white balance article should be coming out in the next few days that will detail a lot of information on color balance in photos, film, and digital editing. It’s certainly been an important subject I’ve had to pay close attention to while editing some of these recent photos. Anyway, that’s what I’ve put on the top of my priority list for now, but I’m sure I’ll get sidetracked. We might be getting more snow in the next few days, which means snowflakes! I don’t technically have ADD, but I think I effectively have it. At least, I take it as a good quality because I’m interested in many things.

Whoa, I’m off track! Long story short: I’m pretty happy the days are getting longer, and the winter light is so gorgeous on the snow. I wanted to share some of my photos and thoughts as we work our way toward spring.

Snow-adorned birch branches | Prints and Wall Art
Sun over the trees – Prints and Wall Art
Over an inch of fluffy snow on the branches | Prints and Wall Art
Sunny meadows and rolling snow | Prints and Wall Art

With all these blue skies and snowy fields, I’m very happy that I recently cleaned the sensors on all my cameras. The spots were getting tiresome to clean up in post-editing. That’s all for now; go enjoy the sunshine on your face!


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