My Winter of This Content

The non-migratory Northern Photographer


Sure, Winter brings its frustrations, but as I compassionately said to my complaining neighbour one day, "Then move somewhere else!" (Not all of us have the option, of course.) But most of us stay here. We may take a vacay but do not over-winter in sunnier climes. For the most part, we know or should know how to dress for the cold, our homes and our cars are amazingly comfortable, and Winter has a beauty all its own.


(That is, as long as the electricity stays on.)


Those who know say, in fact, that nothing beats the light of the far north, "north" where I live being a relative term. I had the extraordinary privilege years ago to spend a few days in Arctic Bay, NU, latitude 85 degrees north (Brockville being 44, the Arctic Circle at a measly 66).


Arctic Bay, Nunavut, a balmy April day (-21ºC) in 2012

At -60ºC, you may find kids out playing street-hockey at 3 a.m. (because there is no "night and day" in the midst of Winter). (Do you still feel like complaining about Winter weather?)



Back to more temperate latitudes: this non-migratory photographer's life has remained pleasantly busy.


Mont Ste. Marie. First, a few weeks into the New Year, I went downhill-skiing. With simply gorgeous scenery, breath-takingly so, at Mont Ste. Marie ... I hadn't brought my camera (too cold, too awkward to ski with, so hmm ... I guess that Winter does limit me after all).


That only left one reasonable option. I found myself there again a week later, and at the end of the second day, said to my companion, an understanding and artistically-supportive young man, that I was just going to do it. Retrieving a camera from the car, I made two runs while he made five, and then we wended our way home.


You may recall the stupifying Winter beauty of northern Manitoba, which I visited recently over New Year's. I knew at the time that could only occur once in a lifetime.


Then it happened again.


Snow-laden branches, downhill skiing at Mont Ste. Marie


13th Street. Not long after, circumstances placed me at the 13th Street Winery in St. Catharines, Ontario. Quite possibly, I might have bought some wine.


But more to my amazement, my travel-companion introduced me to a brand new on-site art gallery, The Gallery at 13th Street Winery, and once inside, an hour melted away in marvel. The works on display all belonged, we learned from the very attentive curator, to the owners, but that will shortly change, and artists near and far will be exhibiting their works.


Prices at the time we toured ranged from $1,000 (for new artists) to some large works for $65,000. You may wish to shuffle your funds around prior to visiting.


I personally saw many highly-impressive paintings (and sculptures) which would suitably adorn my walls.



One the way back, I noted some intriguing patterns in some Winter fruit-orchards (it is the Niagara Peninsula, after all), and my brother amiably pulled the car over. Then, I tried to reproduce in my camera what I had seen in my mind.


I failed.


So, the following in no way represents anything "usual" for me, if such a thing even exists. I only know that I haven't tired of looking at it yet. (I didn't say that I like it ... I might, though ...)


Tangle of fruit-tree branches in the dormant season


Brockville. Along the way, the bulk of my time I spend near home. (Hence why I call it "home"!) The Sabrejet at Blockhouse Island calls to photographers perennially, myself included, and I accept the challenge of attempting novel ways of presenting it (without "novelty" becoming the end in itself).


Sabrejet (actually on a pole, of course)

People exclaim about Brockville's beauty from the water, and yet I admit that translating this into photographs has proven elusive for me. Still:



A segment of downtown Brockville, just before sunrise, one very cold Winter's morning, from Blockhouse Island

More recently, not so cold but at the onset of a two-day snowstorm, I returned to Blockhouse Island and the theme of its over-sized chairs:


The green chair fits a normal adult; the larger chairs are tourist-attractions (and make great photos to climb into and sit there like a gnome—not that popular an activity in Winter!)


Condo Association. I need not specify which condo, but a friend has organized some Winter talks for the non-snowbirds among it denizens, and most kindly asked if I would present one of them.


I simply had a blast, got to exhibit many of my printed photographs, and ran through not just my favourites, but more my formative fine-art photographs, talked a little about the administrative side of running an artist-business, and about my basic principles for doing the actual work (think foremost and always, always about light; watch your backgrounds and borders; compensate your exposures; learn how a camera "sees" vs. how the human mind sees).



Algonquin Park Sunrise, c. 1980

I start the saga of my photographic journey with the above image, which I still like, and which planted a seed which took some time to germinate, but meandered me here.


My message: I can talk! (This will astound my many friends.) Ask me to your group anytime.




Winter Almost Over


At this time of year, one may weary of Winter. But February precedes March, always much milder (although remember the Storm of the Century), and while I embrace the cycle of the seasons, on some level I mourn the little time left, this year, for Winter photography.



While You're Here ...



Reminder: I make photographs and I sell photographs.



Art - Most of the photographs which you see on this web site are for sale. Prices at the time of writing, for example, for an 11x14" fine-art print with a generous white border would start at about $65, and you can go up or down from there. Check the rates page. More importantly, check out my gallery. I would love to provide you with a work of fine-art photography, or to discuss a commission.


Portraits - Book a sitting - the right frequency with which to commission formal portraits is a bit more often.


Anything (almost ...)! Please inquire for photography categories such automotive, industrial, charitable ...


Another reminder: kindly leave a comment, or contact me to sign up for new blog notifications. I will very much appreciate referrals to potential new subscribers, or links on your website to my blog. I am very careful and respectful with your privacy.


Thank you so much for reading.


Charles T. Low

Photographer


© 2020 ctLow Photography


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