Its been a peculiarly mild winter and whilst I don’t miss driving in the snow or having to dress like a marshmallow woman for every dog-walk, there are elements of the usual white and frosty winter landscape that I hadn’t realised I was missing until we had a sudden temperature dip towards the end of last week. As I sit by the fire, drying from today’s heavy downpour, I realise there’s a lot to be said for cold, crisp mornings.
What greeted me at Simons Woods last Thursday was a whole different scene to the sloppy puddles of this morning: I found heathland turned into a magical winter-world by a heavy frost that had beaded each and every blade of grass and many of the bare trees with a thousand prisms that were magnifying and remagnifying the low rays of the winter sun. The first clue that it was that cold was that, half asleep and running late, I found I had to spend five minutes scraping the windscreen and so, not being geared-up for what I had in store for me on my early-morning walk, I found I didn’t have my brand new “Christmas camera” with me – drat! – it would have been good to put it through its paces.
However, as ever, my trusty iPhone did me proud – in fact it proved to be as brilliant as ever at taking my trademark shots, the ones that “look” straight into the sun, an approach to photography that would result in most cameras being in out of their depth and drowning in a sea of over-exposure. The beauty of the iPhone is that you don’t have to risk looking into a viewfinder into the glare of the sun (also a feature of my new camera, which is entirely touch-screen) and I happily take risks with shots that seem improbable, on the off-chance they may turn out to be something special. Somehow, the iPhone always holds its own and captures just enough of the magic for me to drag the details and colours back with Photoshop. Without further ado, here’s what I managed to get: click on the first image and run as a slideshow as the definition of a black background works best with these frosty white images.