Two years ago, we had one of the worst winters here in Michigan that I can remember since I was a kid. I think most of us in the midwest and northeast remember the term "polar vortex". It snowed for weeks on end, storm after storm, temperatures always hovering around zero.
That winter kept me inside, and I hated it.
Last year I was determined to not let winter beat me again, so I invested in high quality long underwear, a long down-filled coat, and new snow resistant pants to go over my long underwear. I had a warm hat, good mittens and the ever important neck gator. I was ready for winter. I was not going to be held hostage inside my house again. I went out at least once a week, if not more, to photograph. Sometimes with my dSLR, but mostly with my iPhone (the fingers don't get as cold using the iPhone). I got a lot of great winter shots, and came to appreciate the beauty of the blank white canvas, and bare tree branches against a gun metal gray sky. I fell in love with winter photography. Notice I did not say I fell in love with winter, that is a work in progress.
This year a El Nino winter is forecast, supposedly warmer and drier than in recent years. I am hopeful but not unrealistic, winter is still winter in Michigan. None the less, I still have the same good quality clothing and the same determination to get out and photograph that I had last year.
Two weeks ago we had a lovely winter afternoon; blue skies, bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid-30's, no wind. I set off for a recently discovered county park with my Canon dSLR. My daughter and I had been there a month earlier and at that time I had only my iPhone with me, but I knew I wanted to go back with my big camera. I was not disappointed.
The willow trees across the river from the park were what drew me back with my big camera. I wanted to try out some of my new Topaz Labs processing software.
Winter no longer holds me hostage, and I am ever grateful for this hobby of photography that gives me reason to venture out in any kind of weather.