Winter details Phil Hall

Winter details. Photo by Phil Hall

While trees and bushes are looking perhaps their worst at this time of year, with most devoid of any foliage, there’s still plenty of photographic potential to be had if you look a little closer.

Plants such as cow parsley, which have been left to whither in these cold and dark months, and are devoid of leaves and flowers, take on a different kind of beauty that’s a far cry from the rich colours that are on show in spring and summer.

You may have to work a little harder to get a successful shot, but the rewards will be worth it. As an added bonus, you won’t have to travel far, either, as there will be plenty of opportunities with the foliage to be found right on your doorstep.

  1. Riverbanks are great places to wander along for potential subject matter. Try shooting with the river behind a plant to deliver a nice clean background that will automatically isolate your subject.
  2. Macro lenses can be handy in these situations, but are not essential. An affordable standard prime lens can focus relatively close, while the wide apertures available will throw the background out nicely.
  3. With the sun naturally low at this time of year, pleasing silhouettes are possible when shooting into the sun. Taking the shot in a lower position looking upwards can sometimes achieve a clean background.
  4. Aim to shoot on a calm, still day, especially if you’re working with relatively low shutter speeds, as wind will introduce unwanted movement that will see a noticeable reduction in sharpness.

Portrait Projects

shadow portraits

The setting sun projected huge shadows onto the windbreak of this beachfront cafe, making the diners look like giants. Photo by Nigel Atherton

Landscape Projects
An early start can see you rewarded with lovely golden light at sunrise. Photo by Phil Hall

An early start can see you rewarded with lovely golden light at sunrise. Photo by Phil Hall