It is amazing how, in the space of only a couple weeks, the way one looks at one’s surroundings can be radically altered. As some of our readers already know, the past two weeks here were taken up with preparing for and hosting the CAPTURE Quebec workshop. James Staddon came up from balmy West Virgina and braved the frigid Far North winter to teach techniques on photographing snowy landscapes.
The gorgeous climatic conditions a week prior to James’ arrival festooned the countryside with the exquisite beauty only winter can bring. An abundant snowfall followed by mild temperatures and sunny skies triggered hope for the same kind of weather at the end of the month.
The Lord, however, had other plans.
On the first day of scouting for good photography locations, precipitation fell in the wet form of rain. Though the scouting excursions were accompanied alternately by excellent and adverse weather conditions…
… by the first day of the workshop, the temperature had dropped and heavy clouds had rolled in. Our “sunrise” photos the following morning hardly acknowledged the presence of the blazing ball of fire we knew to be out there and the cold put the vibration reduction feature on our cameras to the test.
The challenge of shooting virtually two-tone scenes was somewhat daunting, but not insurmountable. There were certainly days when, upon arriving home and viewing picture after picture that looked as though it had been taken in monochrome, we felt a certain discouragement. Notwithstanding, we were encouraged to take up the challenge of being creative, focusing on composition, rather than lighting and colour. And the Lord gave us one evening when the clouds parted and we actually saw colour in the sky! And by getting really creative, some even shot photos of the light pollution that looked much like a sunset! Selections from our photo shooting sessions will, however, have to follow in another post.
Thankfully, given the chilly outdoor temperature, we did not spend all our time out in the field. Classroom hours taught us the theory behind creating a pleasing composition for a picture.
The instruction on post-processing skills using Lightroom proved, at least for myself, to be an exciting addition to our knowledge base. I delight in no longer having headaches over wondering which of my many files is the most up-to-date! Discovering all the interesting functions of this program resulted in some unique alterations. But I’ll leave the demonstrations of that, too, for another post.
Not all our time was spent in scouting, travelling, shooting, post-processing, and such like. Sunday afternoon before the workshop was a wonderful time of relaxation as we enjoyed fellowshipping and a time of games.
The concluding evening of the workshop, we savoured a traditional Quebecois treat – sugar on snow!
Sunday, our final day together as a group, we were joined by several other families for worship and a fellowship meal. A cake made for the event seemed fitting. And we even saw how the inside of a camera looks!