Tonje Lilleås

Winter in the woods – When I walk pt. 1

A long time ago I made this post called “When I walk”, and today I’m turning it into a series by talking you along for winter in the woods.

The things I notice when I walk

Now you might be thinking that I’ve brought you along for a lot of walks through the woods. And you’re right. But the thing is I want to start this series of run and gun photography posts, and a winter walk in the woods just seems like a good place to start. Mainly because I do a lot of them, but also because it’s so easy to show the concept of these posts starting with a walk through the forest.

When I walk with my camera, I’m present in a different way than whenever I’m just out for a walk. And I know that I see other things than you do. Not because I’m some special snowflake, but just because we all notice different stuff whenever we’re out and about. And through the series I want to show you what I notice taking a simple walk wherever I’m at.

A few ground rules

I’ve established a few rules for a post to be part of the “When I walk” series.

  • All images have to be shot within the same walk.
  • Only run and gun photography is allowed, meaning no planned or posed images.
  • I have to be walking alone, or with only my dog. No other companions allowed.

Now you might wonder why I make rules for myself like this. It’s simply because I want to challenge myself to take walks where my sole focus is upon seeing and being present.

If I walk with someone else, I won’t be able to focus solely on the photography. Just like if I plan my shots, I won’t be tuned in to seeing stuff that doesn’t suit my plan. I’ve made a video about run and gun photography earlier, and that’s just what I want to do. I want to do more run and gun photography.

Winter in the woods

The last few days we’ve been blessed with beautiful winter light. However I haven’t been able to head out to shoot, as I’ve had other things to take care of. But I did shoot winter in the woods about a week ago, and it’s the images from that photowalk I’d like to share with you today.

It was an overcast day, where we’d had quite heavy snowfall the night before. My wife and the kids were at their grandmothers house, and I had a couple of hours to myself to explore the local forest yet again. I decided to take a slightly different route than I usually do, tried to empty my brain before I got my camera out and started shooting whatever caught my attention.

It soon became clear that I was hitting a pattern of some sorts. I seemed to be focused on repetitive lines and contrasts. Which to be honest isn’t that shocking considering I walked through winter in the woods on an overcast day.

However my favorite images of the walk I found in the mud. Or to be more precise in a small area that still had some running water. I got super fascinated with the combination of the rotting leaves, snow and icy water, and tried different approaches to capture its beauty.

The image I was most surprised by was when I started playing with the reflection in the water, trying to capture the forest above it, and introducing color by taking advantage of the leaves below the surface. It was a very creatively fulfilling session. I had so much fun, and totally lost track of time. I’m quite happy with the result, even if the result wasn’t really the most important thing from this session. It was the chase and process that was the biggest reward.

When I walk through winter in the woods and explore locally

I really hope you like this part of “When I walk”. The series won’t be all nature, sometimes I will add a street photo walk as well. If you want to make sure you don’t miss the next one, please consider subscribing to my blog. It would really make me happy! And I’m always happy to see you guys over at my Instagram as well, so check it out!

Before I go I just want to add this; many of us are still more or less in lockdown. It doesn’t mean you can’t have new experiences. Get outside, be present and explore your local area. Because there’s always more to explore locally!



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