March photography is here again

Making Pictures with Professional Photographer John Enman

The old Notch Hill Church at Sorrento was built in the 1920s and is currently undergoing a slow restoration.  It provides a good subject about the changing seasons

The old Notch Hill Church at Sorrento was built in the 1920s and is currently undergoing a slow restoration. It provides a good subject about the changing seasons

Yep, March is here again. Those that have been reading my posts for awhile know that I approach this month with a foreboding feeling.

The optimism of January and the hopefulness of February have now passed, although I never expect much from February.

Last year I wrote about the uninspiring landscape of this month and the frustration of photographers who are ready for something other than falling snow and icy roads.

I quipped about useless forays in the countryside to photograph some hungry coyote, wandering deer, or sad little bird that hung about through the winter.

However, just when I was ready to be moody and join others gloomily complaining about the weather, Mother Nature threw a wrench in the spokes with spring-like weather.

I expect March to be, “In like a lion and out like a lamb.” But not so this year, March 2015 is being heralded as the second warmest March ever recorded here in British Columbia.

What is a guy to do? I wasn’t ready for spring.

The landscape is mostly snow-less, but I know there is green growth beneath that drab, lifeless end of winter brown.

So my wife, Linda and I decided, in spite of that lingering pale hue, we would pack our cameras and take a drive along the ice free Thompson River to see if we could find something worth pointing our cameras at.

I had decided to mount my trusty 18-200mm lens on my camera.

I like that easy to use lens. It may not be the sharpest lens in the stable, but it is versatile, lightweight and doesn’t take up much room. Besides, I can always tweak its slight lack of sharpness in Photoshop.

As we drove up the river valley I wondered if I would find anything in the lifeless landscape to photograph.

We are so conditioned to search for colour when we set out to do scenics that we forget to look at the structure as the scene unfolds in front of us.

We talked and drove without finding anything to photograph and eventually stopped for lunch in the small lakeside town of Sorrento.

I just couldn’t get motivated and after that big meal was about to resign myself to just returning home to sleep it off. But as I paid for our lunch, Linda talked to some people who suggested we check out the old church at Notch Hill.

Gosh, I was surprised when they said that decrepit 1920s church was still there.

Well, it was just barely there and under some slow restoration.

As I selected different angles to photograph that decaying building I realized I should be photographing its transition in the landscape.

I was seeing things wrong and falling prey to words of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “beware of the ides of March”.

Its what is changing and emerging that I should capture, not try to photograph the bloom of spring when it isn’t here yet.

I began to look for the story between one season and the next.

I realized my photographic goal should be to select subjects that visually talk about that moment just after winter and just before spring.

I am sure one could still wander up into the mountains and continue photographing winter, or search for some hot location in the city with early growth.

But for those that are always creating photography challenges for themselves, I suggest that, as with that old Notch Hill church, this year’s March photography challenge should be about between the seasons.

These are my thoughts this week.

Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net. Stop by Enman’s Camera at 423 Tranquille Road in Kamloops.  And if you want an experienced photographer please call me at 250-371-3069. I also sell an interesting selection of used photographic equipment.