Picture Day

It's the most wonderful time of the year! For me, anyway, and not the holiday part. It's the time of the year that I get to take a fresh batch of reference photos for my never-ending Ambient series. There is a very specific set of conditions that allows me to get the photos I need. There has to have been frost for a month or so, there has to have been at least some snow, the snow has to have melted, and it has to be slightly hazy at about two in the afternoon. This doesn't happen all that often, but yesterday the planets aligned a bit after one o'clock. I looked outside and the light was perfect. So I grabbed my camera and my big mud boots and made the seven-minute drive to the park where my favorite plants grow. And of course by the time I got there, there was no haze and the sunlight was too intense. I took about 90 photos anyway and went home to check on the weather for the rest of the week. It looked like sunny/hazy every day so I started some tea and settled back down to my painting, thinking I could go again today or Friday. A few minutes later when I went to get the tea, I looked out again and the light really was perfect, with a solid hazy mass of clouds that looked as though it might last more than seven minutes, so... back I went. It was awesome. I took another 200 photos in some of the best light I have had in years. There's nothing better than that shot of fresh inspiration in the middle of the winter studio season. [singlepic=108,320,240,]All of the parks here have these wonderful old stone buildings. My favorite plants are in the foreground. Below is one of my reference shots. [singlepic=107,320,240,]