Snow – Common Photo Themes


Winter is coming (though some of you reading from the southern hemisphere are probably happy to see it leaving) and there is no better time to visit one theme that is attractive to us all:  Snow.  Snow is a clean coat of paint over the world.  Sometimes it hides features, sometimes it enhances them.  It’s rarely the primary subject of a photograph, but it is often the icing that makes the shot much sweeter.  And sometimes the shot just isn’t a shot without the snow.  Whatever the case, the members of our Flickr Group have given us plenty of snow shots over the years.  Here is just a small sampling.

Mount Baldy by David Clark

"Mt. Baldy" by David Clark

“Mount Baldy” by David Clark

When David Clark is not shooing industrial settings and mines, he is an experienced and skilled landscape photographer.  As is the case in this photograph,  Mount Baldy, he has a knack for framing up a shot to demonstrate the beauty of the scene, as if ou were actually there.  This scene is inspiring and beautiful, but without the snow, I wonder if it would be as powerful.  The contrast of the scene and the bluish shadows really evoke a feeling of peaceful solitude.

Footsteps In The Snow by gregoriosz

Snow creates a canvas on our pavements and streets for people to paint with their feet.  As captured, the photograph Footsteps In The Snow by gregoriosz, is a demonstration of how chaos can be turned into beauty with a simple press of the shutter button.  I like the way this shot was framed up, leaving some untouched snow near the top edge, the foot prints anchoring the image in the bottom of the frame.  The result is somewhat abstract, but captivating.

Openlands Lightshow by Jonathan Robson

Snow meets water and ice and there seems to be no better rivalry in nature.  The patterns formed by the ice in the water, and the snow at the water’s edge (and on some of the ice) is a beauty unto itself.  And then Jonathan Robson captures this shot,  Openlands Lightshow, to enhance the beauty that much more.  The contrast between the bluish water and the warm tones of the sunset is a nice contrast, thanks to the snow.


Open Spaces by Judy Knesel

Snow does a phenomenal job of enhancing the angles and textures of surfaces, particularly of architecture.  In the photo Open Spaces by Judy Knesel, we can see the texture of the stone as it is dusted lightly and highlighted by the fresh snow.  And the shadow that is cast by the sun wouldn’t be so contrasting nor would it be so powerful as it is upon a pure surface like the snow.


Time To Contemplate The Less Fortunate  by Ray Rhodes

Snow can really paint a mood.  Out in the world, the soft snow can quiet the world, absorbing all sound.  So when we see it in a photograph, we are reminded of that fact.  Time To Contemplate The Less Fortunateby Ray Rhodes, makes us feel quiet and peaceful as we look upon this winter scene.  I recall many a time where I did my best thinking on such a winter day.  The snow in this shot powders the roof, pulls the texture out of the cultivated soil and dusts our memories.


About Author

D. Travis North is a professional Landscape Architect, a Freelance Photographer and founder of Shutter Photo. Ever since he picked up his first SLR, his father's Nikon N2000, he's been hooked on photography. Travis likes to photograph urban environments, architectural details and has a new-found interest in close-up photography. His work can be found at D. Travis North Photography. Follow Travis on twitter: @dtnorth.

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