Chasing the Last Cold Light
As we in New England have been struggling through this year’s bone chilling winter, it is nice to recognize the first tentative promise of the coming spring, the days are getting longer. In the depths of winter, I typically go to work and return home in the dark. Even with the sparkling crisp winter days and the warm glow of our wood stove at night, it is hard to escape at least a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder depression. But then, usually sometime in February, it suddenly hits me. I’m heading home and there is still light in the sky. It may be 10 below, but that sudden revelation fills me with an invigorating sense of hope.
Spring is Coming
|Steeple Light, Westmoreland, NH|
from Keene, New Hampshire to my home in Spofford and I suddenly became aware of the beautiful evening light playing against the snow. Actual warm sunlight! I called Susan to warn that I might be a little late for supper, and then the only question was where should I go to chase the light. I decided to head north.
I headed north from Westmoreland to Walpole New Hampshire generally along Route 63. The images here where all (except one) captured as
|Westmoreland to Walpole|
On this evening my first question was whether to find a dramatic spot and sit still as the light changed or to keep moving looking for various locations that might work with the evolving glow. I decided to hit the road. It is amazing how quickly the mood changes as the sun dips toward and then below the horizon. Moment to moment the light provided different opportunities and challenges. It helped that I knew this route extremely well and could anticipate how the illumination would compliment the lovely rural countryside.
My first stop was at a favorite farm in Westmoreland on the Old Westmoreland Road just outside of Spofford. Of course, if you
Park Hill Light
|Park Hill Meeting House, Not at Sunset|
The Blue Hour
The Blue Hour is the 45 - 60 minutes after sunset when the sky retains a cool blue tone before all descends to black. I found a spot on a hill that allowed me to contrast the deep blue with the sunset reds and gold reflected off the clouds on the horizon. I especially liked the detail of the farm house and the tangle of tree branches that dominated shadowy foreground. Just a few minutes later, and from the same location, the sunset glow could only be seen in the reflections off the windows across the cow pasture.
Orchard's Last Light
In order to get one last shot at the fleeing light, I went to the hilltop
|Alyson's Orchard, Walpole, NH|
People often say that photography is about the light, almost as if "the light" was one thing. Of course, we all know that light is always changing and that is what makes photography so endlessly fascinating. The surprising variety of colors and moods in the sky over the short duration of a winter sunset is a magnificent example of this restless of quality of light and it is a privilege to be able catch even a small taste of that wonder. And yes, I have seen the light, and can assure that spring IS coming.