How to Capture the Magic of Seasons Through Photography
There is something magical about the seasons. In fact, every culture has its own legends and beliefs related to seasons. For example, Central Asia spring arrival is celebrated with feasts and music. And, in some European cultures, the first day of summer is the day fairies dance with yellow flowers in their hair. In other cultures, Autumn is full of crop festivals and winter is for many the only season of pure joy.
Every culture has its seasons, and seasons make great subjects for photography.
What is season photography?
Every little manifestation dictated by a season can be representative of that season. Cherry blooming is definitely a sign of spring. Certain spring flowers are also representative for their season: snowdrops, tulips, etc. Snow is a universal sign for winter, although it can come in early spring or late autumn as well. Autumn colors are very easy to recognize and a splendid subject for photography. Summer is known for its green meadows and blue skies, for wheat fields, and sunflower.
However, nature is not alone in changing its color by season– people do too. We, the people, wear rainy coats in the autumn, place Christmas trees in our homes during winter, and wear swimsuits to the beach in the summer. Social events like school ending or beginning, Easter, and festivals are also indicative of seasons changing.
Signs of the seasons can be seen everywhere, and it’s up to the photographer (i.e. YOU!) to put a touch of the current season in any picture. After all, seasons complete the story of a picture.
What do you need to catch a season?
The most important part of photographing seasons is to be present. What exactly does that mean? It means you have to be available and ready to photograph when the first frost comes; wake up early to catch a spring sunrise, and get lost in a forest during autumn to fully feel and embrace its warm colors.
Use a color filter to enhance the colors of autumn. If you are using a compact camera, look for special settings for vivid colors or even sunset/sunrise options.
Landscape photography is indeed the best way to photograph the seasons, but street photography can be great as well. Most importantly, get outside whenever the weather is moody or different.
Why is creativity so important?
Photography is an art. It’s an art that’s quickly forgotten when everybody can take a picture with their smartphone.
That being said, it’s important to remember that photography is not about taking pictures. Photography is about telling an entire story through images.
The seasons can be a great background for your stories or they can be the actual story. So, always be on the lookout for details, even the small ones. Sometimes it’s the smallest details that end up being the most powerful.
And don’t forget: being creative means tapping into your feelings and conveying them through your photos. Anyone viewing your photos should be able to feel the cold snow in your winter photos, smell the autumn leaves surrounding you. They should feel the spring mist tickling your face and the summer sun warming your skin.
If the seasons aren’t felt by the person viewing the photo, you have some improving to do.
Seasons are part of our life. We’ve structured our entire existence according to their periodical flow, and rely on them for food and shelter. We write songs about them and celebrate them in festivals. Our moods even change with each season.
Seasons may be the greatest photographic subject, so include them in your pictures.