Winter Light

Although our winter this year was very mild the daylight hours were still very short. Global warming and El Niño don’t change the tilt of the earth, after all. As a result I found it hard to get outside and shoot many photos.

I did find myself taking a lot of photos inside, though. Mostly of plants illuminated by the low, clear light that we get on winter days. Some of those photos have shown up here already. But with the arrival of Daylight Savings time, as well as warmer temperatures, I think it’s time to officially wrap up this winter photo project with a proper blog sendoff.

These photos come from 6 different rolls and two cameras. Rather than present them chronologically, I’ve grouped them by style.

Wide Shots

Most of the photos ended up using my 50mm macro lens. But before I switched lenses I shot a few with the 105mm. It’s not easy to shoot with a 105mm lens in a small living room. As a result the focus is a little goofy here, but I like the stark black background and the hint of the couch.

A black and white photo of a orchid plant
1/250, 8, 105/2.8, HP5, 105mm Takumar

I also mostly stuck to the 35mm camera. But I did shoot some with the Voightlander Bessa 66. Similar to the 105mm, the long minimum focal distance of the Bessa could be tricky. I like this a winter still life.

A black and white still-life photo of a living room couch and coffee table. On the edge of the coffee table are 3 small potted plants.
1/50, 16, Voightlander Bessa 66, HP5

Macro Petals

I quickly switched from the 105mm to the 50mm Macro lens. The orchid plant that was my main subject has lovely purple leaves. Though on black and white they appear as snowy white. I tried to pull out more detail in the petals by using a red filter, but without much result.

Two ‘milestone’ photos. The first is from the exact moment of the winter solstice. Only more sun from this point on. The second photo is the last photo in the series, shot with my first roll of Svema 200. These are less shadow/contrast focused than most of the close up shots. This lets you see a lot more lovely detail on the petals.

1/30, f11, Takumar Super Macro Takumar 50/f4, Svema 200
A black and white, close up photo of two white orchids.
1/2s, 8, 50mm macro, HP5 pushed to 1600. Taken at the moment of the winter solstice.

Backlit Shadows

It took me a while to notice the effect of backlighting and the shadows it created. But once I did, oh boy. In my roll notes I wrote that this first one was over-exposed. And it might be. But with these backlit shots I found that near-overexposure gives them an ethereal character that I like.

A close up black and white photo of a group of orchid flowers.
1/15s, 9.5, 50mm Macro, CatLabs Pro 320
A close up photo of an orchid plant backlight by sunlight. The light is illuminating the petals brightly.
1/125s, 9.5, 50mm Macro, CatLabs 320

Though with this backlit shot I found that I preferred this underexposed version. I bracketed this with a better-exposed shot, but I find that version way more boring. This one gives a sense of the small, limited nature of the light we get in winter.

A black and white photo of an orchid plant. The plant is backlit, casting a long shadow.
1/1000, 2.8, 105/2.8, HP5

All of the winter light photos.

Thanks for reading! You can always keep up to date by adding the site to a RSS reader or follow me over on Mastadon at You can also subscribe for email notifications.

One response to “Winter Light”

  1. Kerry Edna McDonald Avatar
    Kerry Edna McDonald

    This is absolutely beautiful and I love learning new things

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *