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Spring will snap the winter photography blues

Spring will be here soon, and color will return to the Mid-Ohio Valley. Winter is my least favorite season, both photographically and in life.

Photographically, spring is a lot easier than winter.

You need light to take photos. The light in winter is, in my view, ugly most of the time.

We go weeks without seeing the sun during the season and clouds make the light extremely flat.

When it does shine the sun is extremely low in the sky, making the light very directional.

Please do not try to change my opinion.

I am firm on my feelings about the cold, dark, wet, gray days of winter.

Then you have the problem of gray.

I’m personally a fan of the color, half my clothes are gray.

You might even say the top of my head is too, even though it is now whiter than gray.

Winter is just too much gray though. I find the lack of color depressing.

I now understand why older people spend winters in Florida.

I look forward to joining them there someday. When it snows, the gray problem is even worse. I’ve shot snow photos before that were so void of any color that they looked like black and white pictures.

The photos that appear on page two of The Times every day are meant to showcase the beauty of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The hardest months to do that each year are January and February, at least in December you have the color of the holidays to add to the mix of photos.

Fortunately, daylight and life are starting to return and with it the color that we all enjoy. The crocus photo on page 2 today is one example, and there will be dozens more in the following weeks.

The photo was shot by Gina Moening in her Waterford yard late one afternoon recently.

Area residents are always invited in the captions of the photos to submit their own vision of beauty in the valley.

Many do exactly that, sending me wonderful images of the area.

They struggle with the first two months of the year as well, for I get fewer submissions in the winter than any other time of the year.

I try to spend as much time outdoors as possible, even in bad weather. Someone once told me that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices.

They may be right but wearing four layers of clothing to get a little exercise is carrying things to an extreme, a fact that my wife Lori frequently points out to me as we make our way down empty Marietta sidewalks.

I take a lot of photos while exercising and have literally gone miles upon miles without capturing a single photo in the winter.

The coming of spring will not only bring out color but also people.

Even photos of nature are better if there are people in them.

People make photos better just by being in them.

A photo of the park is better with a person riding a bike through it.

A photo of the water of the Muskingum glistening is better with a kayaker drifting through it.

The transition from winter to spring is normally quick in Ohio. In fact, it normally happens almost instantly.

Snow one day, Spring the next.

I’m not complaining, even if it does leave me photos that will never be used because they look out of date though they may be only a few days old.

Photographically, it is the toughest transition because it happens so quickly, but I will gladly toss a folder full of winter photos for just one day where it is sunny and 70.

Look for me the first day we hit that mark.

I will be the guy with white hair, wearing shorts and a t-shirt with a stupid saying about hiking on it while squinting in the sun with a giant Nikon.

I will have a smile on my face because I will be happy.

If I am laying on the ground, I am not injured, I am just trying to make the random flower coming up look larger by taking a photo of it at ground level.

Art Smith is online manager of The Marietta Times and has worked with The Times since 1977. He can be reached at asmith@mariettatimes.com.

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