Seasons Reasons

As March heralds Australia’s autumn (What word do Americans use for ‘autumnal’?), it got me thinking about the seasons, and whether (no pun intended) they influence my photography. Am I a seasonal creature? Do the seasons dictate my toy photography?

Seasons in the ahh…bliss

We start the seasons on the first of the month. It’s a convenience thing. But summer tends to linger well into March here in Australia. We still have days worthy of trips to the beach, the wood fire remains motionless, and the evenings still have a summer balminess loitering in the air.

All this was made more relevant when I was sent an email from Shelly over the weekend. The subject of the emails was “my current view”, and all it contained was a single snapshot of a backpack and toys sitting afore a landscape of mountains and snow. I was sat before my laptop in shorts looking at my friend’s weekend adventures in the snow.

Seasons: Snowtroopers skiing behind a Tauntaun

Snow! We don’t get snow where we live. Some nearby towns get a smattering of snow in winter, but to get to ‘real’ snow, it’s a 4-hour drive. So what photos do I take in winter without a blanket of white as a backdrop?

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
I’ve been for a walk
On a winter’s day
Hi-Standard – California Dreamin’
*yes, I know it’s not their song

I scrolled back to my last winter on Instagram.

Beach photos?

Last Spring. Beach photos. Last autumn. Beach photos again. And summer? Yep, more beach photos.

Not a single winter hint…er?

So maybe the seasons don’t influence me. Sure, the wind in autumn can test my patience. The sun rises later in winter, giving me extra time in bed before I have to head off to the beach to capture the sunrise. As winter subsides, spring brings on a renewed vigour with its proclamation of improved weather. And the season of summer rewards us with more hours of daylight than the other three.

Seasons: Mr. Freeze in a sombrero and rubber duck
“Begone summer!”

OK, we don’t get the extremes in weather here that others do with the changing seasons. I’m sure my Swedish friends Christoffer and Carin will contend that 40°C in summer is extreme, but I’d retort that -20°C in winter is far more extreme!

Summer’s here put the top down and drive
Summer’s here now we’re being burnt alive
Frenzal Rhomb – Summer’s Here

Looking back through my photos on Instagram, it’s difficult to distinguish the seasons from one photo to the next, without looking at the date. Without a visual clue as to whether its summer or winter, autumn or spring, the photos give no clues as to when they were taken.

If my photos were in police line-up, winter would get away scot-free, as would its three cyclical accomplices.

– Brett

As the seasons change, does your toy photography change with them?

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  1. the_adventures_of_little_amy

    The seasons definitely do influence my photos. I am already planning for winter photos. I order new parts from Lego to use in my ideas, new mini figure torsos, winter hoodies. I use the same hair piece and head for my sigfig, but I change the outfit to suit both the season and activity. I look forward to winter and colder months. It doesn’t snow where I live, but it’s only a 2 hour train trip to the mountains where it snows a few times a year. I have my snow bag ready for when the weather is forecast to snow and I get up early in the morning. Generally I take more indoor photos during the colder months, but I also like to use the rain drops and puddles for reflections. I sometimes wonder if the Lego group plan the release of sets to suit different climates. I’m looking forward to the new Friends ski lift set and the new City fun at the beach. With the CMF series, there is always a mini figure in each series to suit different climates. The penguins suited the northern hemisphere when they were released, while the banana suited the Southern Hemisphere. It looks like series 17 will be the same, I can’t wait

    • brett_wilson

      Wow! I never thought about the LEGO releases being seasonal until now.
      Your winter plans and preparations sound wonderful. I guess I’m lucky that I’m not forced indoors in winter. Sure, it gets cold and we get a lot of rain, but there’s always a chance to get outdoors and shoot. It makes those brief moments more planned and measured. Who knows when the next break in the weather will occur?

  2. I totally share your point. In Belgium I took very few photos which showed any hint about the time of the year they were taken. I’ve taken in February photos that look like they could as much have been taken in July. Now in the far North it’s another story… 3 months I’ve been here and there is still snow everywhere (and it’s hard to avoid it).

    • brett_wilson

      I’m slightly envious of those who experience snow, especially without a long drive. Although I also like photos that don’t share their season. I like the timelessness of them. And Belgium? Although I only visited Brussels, I loved it. Do they still have ‘Quick’? And the Beer Temple?!!

      • Yes the Quicks were still there when I left, although they were bought last year by Burger King. I don’t know much about the Beer Temple as I don’t know much about Brussels and it’s been ages I haven’t been in Brussels’ City Center. But anyway all of Belgium is a Temple of Beer 🙂

  3. I can definitely say that it affects my program when I shoot Lego. We can go minus 40°C during winter time here in Québec. So I have to be prepare when I want to take a photo outside. I got gloves, boots and stuff so I wont freeze. Got myself a little foam mattress for the knees that I use to put my camera away from the snow. I have to be efficient, I can’t stay outside for a long period in the cold. So yeah, it’s a bit less spontaneous when I have an idea for a photography in winter. Gotta be prepared!

    • brett_wilson

      I can only imagine the planning that goes into shooting in those conditions. Minus 40? I can’t even imagine that!
      I admire the dedication of the few that venture out in that, just for a toy photo.
      It makes me putting off a trip outdoors because it’s “a bit chilly” when the temperature is single digits seem so lame. This winter, if I ever think of staying indoors by the fire, I’ll think of you out in minus numbers, and get my arse outside!

  4. Living in Southern California, I’d have to say I’m a bit spoiled when it comes to weather. What’s that? It’s sunny and 75 again? Great! However, we do miss out on the seasons, and there is no snow here. I get a bit jealous seeing everyone’s snow photos and wish I had a bit of that playground to work with. But then I remember snow means cold. 😉 We do have what we “affectionately” call May Gray and June Gloom months, where the sky is blanketed in a haze for most of the time. I imagine these upcoming months will be challenging to get great outside photos and I might turn my attention to indoor scenes.

    Prior to a couple of months ago we had a very long drought. Recently we had a ton of rain, which turned one of my favorite photo shoot spots from a desolate desert landscape into a weed filled forest for my little Lego minifigs. We’ll see how this changes up my photography in the coming months.

    • brett_wilson

      Ah, your weather sounds similar to mine! We, unfortunately, know drought too well. The lake on our property was filled last winter, for the first time in about 10 years!
      I too get a little jealous seeing photos in snow, but as you said, I do like being warm! We do get those grey winter days, which I like shooting in; the light is subtle and the reflections few. Although, lying in cold sand is far less enjoyable than in summer, and a warm shower is no comparison to a swim, for getting the sand off!

  5. Shelly Corbett

    I have to say that I really enjoy photographing in the snow. I got a taste of it a couple of years ago when Brkicksailboat and I dragged out families to Mount Rainier for a weekend. It was bliss hanging out on the snow and setting up multiple photos. I’ve been pining away for the experience ever since. We’ve had wonderful snow in the mountains this year (only an hour away) and every time the family wants to go snowshoeing I’m like: heck yeah! Besides the snow I also like the winter months because the light is so beautiful. Sure a long summer sunset is beautiful, but so is the winter light. I also love that in the winter the mud is often frozen. I much prefer kneeling on the frozen ground than squishing around in a swamp. I’ve learned there is no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing choices. Winter? Bring it on!

    • brett_wilson

      After your boastful email, I scrolled back through my IG feed to find some wintry shots. Even though they were unidentifiable without looking at the date, I think I like the light in winter too.
      Poor clothing choices? What a wonderful take on a seemingly miserable situation!

  6. SLAYER!!!!!! Brilliant way to sneak that in! (My band in high school covered that song! I was drumming and backup vocals.)

    I’ll photograph in any weather except for rain. Hate it. Thankful to have a backyard with mini LEGOscapes here and there. I was super spoiled with that big snow storm that hit Portland. Awesome photo shoot literally two steps out the backdoor!

    • brett_wilson

      You covered Slayer in high school? Your coolness just went up a few notches in my books! \m/
      I’m not a fan of rain either! Although, after quite a few days in the 30s, I’d appreciate some. I’ve been sneaky and built a couple of “living dioramas” that I can shoot with, under shelter out of the rain. Take that rain!

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