We have had some truly incredible images submitted to our Illinois Black & White Winter Photo Contest. The photos remind me of why I love winter in Illinois so much – the peacefulness of the season, the way the snow encourages us to get cozy and slow down for a few months. I love everything about it and can’t wait to see more of your pictures.
Here are a few images that have been submitted thus far, along with the photographer’s thoughts about the photo. Enjoy.
Snow Zebra by Thomas Henneman
On January 9, 2010 I went snowshoeing at the Franklin Creek Nature Area, near Franklin Grove – about ten miles east of Dixon, Illinois. It was very cold – in the single digits when I arrived – but I was still surprised to have the place to myself. After circling down to the creek and back, I came out of the woods and into one of the picnic areas – and saw all of these amazing tree shadows spread out across the hill going up to the road. I knew that this would be THE photo of the day, so I took about 12 or 15 shots. This is probably the best; it started out in color, however it really pops in black and white (the only real color in the original was the blue sky). I cropped it as a narrow, almost panoramic landscape to emphasize the horizontal lines. By the way, when photographing outside in cold weather, always bring extra batteries and keep your camera inside your jacket, the cold really saps the power!
Icy River by Jeff Lewis
This photograph was taken on the south bank of the frozen Chicago River looking north at the Wrigley Building on Michigan Avenue. Despite the cold, Chicago is a beautiful place ALL year round, some might say it’s especially pretty on cold winter nights. I took this photograph to showcase the beautiful Wrigley building and dramatic ice on the river.
Heavenly Bench by Richard Susanto
For me, one of the joy of photography is being surprised by nature. I took this bench picture in anature park in Willow Springs. It has been a popular picture with my flickr contacts ever since I posted it and it was even selected by the flickr engine on the Explore! homepage.
It was a bright beautiful winter afternoon when I took this photo. The combination of the dark blue sky and the bright white clouds provided a contrast that was too bright for a good picture. I wandered around the park, waited for the sun to be covered by the clouds while looking for a good object when the opportunity came. I was walking close to this bench when the sun peeked behind the clouds and caused a stream of light to fall right on the bench. I took the photo. This is one of those photos which you just know it’s going to look better in black and white. Somehow, the combination of dark blue, bright white and light brown do not look good together on the photo.
It’s funny that even though I have traveled to many places around the world , some of my favorite photos were all taken only minutes from my house. This proves that beauty is everywhere. We just have to look for it.