If there is one thing certain to encourage people to take some photos it is a healthy snowfall. For many occasional photographers, a photograph is about recording an exceptional scene. And in this respect a heavy dose of snow delivers - turning familiar everyday vistas into something magical.
Whilst the kind of heavy snow we recently experienced in Sussex is exceptional, there are environments where the presence of snow is ubiquitous and defining. Such locations lend themselves to some dramatic photography.
This provides us with the perfect excuse to indulge in a little tour beyond the borders of the county to take in some inspirational photography from colder climes. Taking a regular look at great photography 'elsewhere' is something we will be doing on a regular basis.
Wildlife Photographer Vincent Munier's spectacular photography, and particularly his series from artic environments, moves beyond straightforward 'animal mugshots' and into the realm of environmental wildlife portraiture. Particularly in his 'Kamchatka' and 'Ovibos' series, the snow is the bleak elemental canvas on which life struggles to exist.
On the face of it, Alexander Gronsky's 'Endless Night' series, which documents life in Murmansk, the biggest population centre inside the Artic Circle, has little in common with Munier's wildlife photography. But both are concerned with survival in an extreme environment. In 'Endless Night' the snow isn't depicted in every photograph, but the cold and snow is always there, if only as glow through a window.
Michael Flomen's snow photography is altogether different. Here snow ltself is very much the subject, the mono reproduction emphasising form and texture. Flomen "works without a camera, exposing hand-made negatives by moonlight; he makes photograms of the shadows cast by snowflakes. These activities and solitary and mysterious". - Martha Langford, 'Oil & Water', Image and Imagination, 2008.
The presence of snow in a photo can emphasise human frailty and engender a degree of intimacy when photographing people. Without the snow, this street shot from Miles Storey of Mute would lose a significant degree of emotional intensity.
That emotional intensity is key to Todd Hido's 'Homes at Night' series. A large proporition of photos in the series feature mist or snow, providing a contrast and tension between the warmth of the human space within the houses and the cold and untamed world outside.
And finally, we can't really conclude a survey of photography featuring snow without a classic Yosemite view from Ansel Adams.