When the sun shines and the snow lays a magical carpet of light across the world, it's a fairy tale land. The kind of day you can't get your boots and woollies on fast enough.
Today is grim. The sky hangs oppressively low and dark.
It's the kind of day when a hot chocolate, a duvet and good book are the order of the day.
A photography book of course ;-)
But there are some reasons to dump the PJ's and get shooting, indoors or out.
Ok, I admit it, I haven't put the Christmas decorations away yet. The fairy lights are so cheery and welcoming and somehow make a room feel warm and cosy even when it most definitely isn't.
Why not set your focus to manual and start shooting? Use a wide aperture and just get a small detail in focus or go the whole hog and leave everything out of focus.
Background for next year's Christmas Card anyone?
Or how about using all that lovely bokeh in a fine art layered photograph?
Generally, your camera top flash creates an unrealistic photograph with harsh shadows. The alternatives can be very expensive. I love my little Rotolight that can sit on top of my camera and doesn't need me to think about sync speeds or other technical stuff. It's not exactly cheap though. One alternative is to keep an LED torch handy and use it to bring extra light to bear.
In a floral shoot, for instance, you can stay nice and warm in the house while producing some gorgeous photos. This is one from a collection where I shone the light through the plant, lighting up the calla lily so it looks like it glows. Try it with all sorts of translucent subjects that will take on a new life.
If you can bear to go outside, just as far as the garden, you may just find there are some wonderful macro and texture opportunities.
Take a look at the branches of trees for moss and lichen, at the textures of stone and bark.
My grey day was also extremely cold, so armed with a pen torch to add a little extra light, I went out with my macro lens.
This photo is of a tiny ball of ice on a grass leaf. It's unusual because it isn't in the hexagonal form of frost. That's because it's the day before's melted frost refrozen.
I can see that ball making a great base for some photoshop productions.
And don't forget the usual frost forms, they are so fantastic when magnified with a macro lens. Just look at that little fairy staircase near the middle.
I can feel a winter based collage coming on :-)
Turn Dreary Dark Days into Delights of Discovery
Is that a bit too much alliteration? Nah :-)
Are your creative juices flowing yet?
Time to get off the sofa, away from the laptop and get creative with your camera.
See you later :-)