As the Feb. 28 deadline nears for entries in our "Winter Magic 2013" photo contest, we've been busy reviewing loads of images that have been pouring in. It's been a great experience seeing so many beautiful pictures. Some of them are so spectacular and dramatic that even the winter haters among our team here at FreePhotoCourse.com, have grown to appreciate the beauty and majesty that God paints with his own brush...and yes, in all four seasons!
We would like to thank all of the many casual and professional photographers who decided to participate and, being our very first contest, we are astounded by the response! :)
Take a look in the gallery of the best photo submissions and you'll agree that the content, locations and themes have varied widely, featuring everything from a stately four-point buck standing in the Ottawa, Canada snow...to a playful "snow bear" (aka snow man) in Colorado...to snow-dusted red mountains in Sedona, Arizona...and everything in-between. And while snow is a common denominator in many of the submissions, some of the participants have shown us that winter reveals itself in other ways, too. One young photographer felt that the city hall building in his hometown of Monroe, Georgia was, for him, the quintessential winter scene. He makes a point when you look at the yellow-brown grass and leafless tree limbs. Another photographer felt that the idea of winter is somehow embodied in the interior of an abandoned old school house in Fairmont Hot Springs, B.C.
We're not going to say if any of the pictures described above are being considered for the top two prizes. There are many other excellent photos in terms of their content, composition and technique. But we can tell you that whether or not they win the top two prizes, all of the photos that we decided to feature in the gallery have won the distinction of being remarkable photos for a variety of reasons.
This brings us to the overall lesson we learned by launching this first of what will be many more future photo contests. Take a look at the picture at the top of this blog post and you'll see what's left of an old, lifeless, dried-up, spent rose atop a browning single stem. It's not particularly attractive and doesn't leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy. Nonetheless, it is a very real and valid part of winter. Yes, look around in the dead of winter and you might find remnants of fall or summer that have somehow survived; just in a different form.
And as much as you may hate winter (guess it all depends on who you are and where you live...), you've got to admit that, depending on your location, there are some interesting changes happening. And it doesn't always have to do with snow. There are some very real and interesting things that you may see in your own backyard or just down the street. You just have to be open to appreciating them.
Take a second look at the picture above. Click on the picture to expand it (or just click here) and you will see just how interesting nature can be in the winter. The bloom may have died, but what's left is incredible! Have you ever noticed the fluffy golden cottony stuff inside a living rose? Nope, it's not there. But leave it on the stem, wait for winter and voila! And what about the miniature curly brown thingies at the bottom of the golden cotton? Ever notice these before?
So the lesson we learned, if you haven't already figured it out, is that for a good photographer, winter is as much a state of season as it is a state of mind. An open mind to be precise.
Perspective on Photography is FreePhotoCourse.com's official Blog. This is where you can find updates, stories, news, links to photo "finds" and more from FreePhotoCourse's contributing photographers and writers.