Many photographers, professional and hobbyists alike, put their cameras into hibernation when winter arrives, but it can be an exciting time for seeing a different side of familiar and favorite landscapes and creating dramatic images. Especially in Winchester.
“Winchester has a unique mix of landscapes: open farmland, wooded hills, the Kentucky River –beach and all – smaller, interesting waterways like the Lower Howard Creek area and a wonderful main street filled with historic buildings,” said John Paul “JP” Martin, owner of Whiskey and Wiles Photography. “Winchester is unique in that being a few minutes down the road from Lexington, we have maintained a certain small-town feel.
“Because of this, much of our county remains just as it was years ago,” he added.
Besides the charm and yesteryear quality of Winchester landscapes, winter brings its own magical quality to these settings. The sun is lower in the sky during winter. The light during the “golden hour” – the last hour before sunset and first hour after sunrise that is coveted by professional photographers – is infused with a richer quality. Additionally, there are late sunrises and early sunsets and a simple, stark beauty that beckons to photographers to come out and capture winter’s seasonal beauty.
Whether Mother Nature has transformed these landscapes with a blanket of snow, strands of ice crystals sparkling in the trees or the shifting shadows from an overcast sky, each shows off a different mood, hue, tone and texture than is found in spring, summer or fall.
With his years of photography experience – photographing everything from wedding moments to family milestones to professional successes to Christmas outings to the tree farm and in settings from gymnasiums and barns to soccer fields and horse trails – JP offers photographers these tips for getting the best images possible:
- The absolute best camera is the one you have with you. While cellphones will never replace the speed and range of a pro camera, they have gotten very good.
- Landscape photography is no different than any other type in that it’s all about the light. The landscape looks the best when you have the entire image in focus: the more light, the easier it is.
- Take your time, zoom out a little more than you think you should and take multiple images.
- Most importantly, practice and don’t be afraid to play around with your phone settings.
No matter which landscape calls to you and, as JP says, there is “literally something for everyone,” answer with whatever camera you have in hand and enjoy capturing Winchester in a different light.
Photos courtesy of JP Martin