Walking Winter

Posted in Flotsam by ethan on January 12, 2012

Here in Minnesota, where we usually spend the post-holidays buried in snow and bundling up against sub-zero temperatures, we experienced a lovely extended autumn that now seems to have skipped us ahead a few calendar months. The last week has felt like a perfect stretch of late March. We’ve been breaking high temperature marks all over the state. I’ve been nostalgic enough, in fact, that I’ve spent several nights hunting through photo books for some of my favorite winter images. Here are some that made the cut.

Vivian Maier, March 18, 1955, New York, NY.

Pentti Sammallahti, Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992.

Elin Høyland

Bruce Davidson, American Elms – The Mall in Central Park, 1994.

Emmet Gowin, View of Rennie Booher’s house. Danville, Virginia, 1973.

Nobuyoshi Araki, from (Sentimental Journey and Winter Journey, 1991)

I am excited to see the images Martin Parr makes in MN.

What are your favorite winter photographs? And is there any one photographer –or even several– that you particularly associate with the season?

30 Responses

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  1. Rob Landis said, on January 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    These photos inspire me to make some winter photographs- but I live in Ct. and alas there is no winter here either.

  2. Christophe Collas said, on January 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Winter in Belgium is still winter.

  3. Tom said, on January 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Funny, I was in the process of posting this to my site when I got a notification of your post. After last winter, I can’t say I’m anywhere nostalgic for winter — just getting nervous that if there isn’t a winter during the winter months, then when? Are we going to get three feet of snow on the Fourth of July?

  4. Nick said, on January 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I can’t help but think of Thomas Fletchner and his book, Snow. Also, not photography, but Robert Frost poems keep reciting themselves in my head.

  5. Martin said, on January 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    After Lars Tunbjörk did Vinter I associate him with the season

  6. Joachim Manuel said, on January 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Same here in Germany, the winter is missing. Started a series of tree portraits covered with frost in 2007… since them I’m waiting for nearly the same weather to finish that project…. seems it will not happen this year again :-(.
    The picture by Emmet Gowin I also looked up yesterday night while remembering the past winters. Another great work comes from Augustin Rebetez, have spent a lot of time with his pictures these days.

  7. Barrie said, on January 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    It is interesting that you choosed pictures from two books that went nearly unnoticed by the end of year lists. The brothers from Elin Hoyland was for me the best book of 2011. Vivian maier´s is very good too.

    • carrielizabethompson said, on January 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      I like photography that is made with heart. Elin Høyland and Vivian Maier both shoot from the heart.

      • Barrie said, on January 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm

        Well, i couldn´t have said it better. Thank you for the post.

  8. Alec said, on January 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Snow + Dogs + Old Men…wonderful.

    I’m also a fan of this equation: Snow + Windows + Erotic Longing:

  9. Marko said, on January 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I would say William Eggleston’s works reminds me of summer and spring…

  10. Moira said, on January 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Great set.

    One of my favorites is “Walk the Dog” by David Goldes. I first saw it on LBM…

  11. Tim J. Veling said, on January 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Great post to get me thinking, on Monday I am off to take up a two month residency for the S-AIR (Sapporo Artist in Residency), Japan. I’m expecting average temps of minus five degrees Celsius and 1.5m of snow!

    As for winter photos that inspire me…

    Mark Power has some amazing photographs taken in the depths of Polish winter on his site:

    Takashi Homma has some interesting images of the Japanese winter landscape (this is the only link I can find with examples):

    And Koldelka’s famous image of a dog is captivating:

    Have to admit though, it’s pretty hard to beat Araki’s Sentimental Journey / Winters Journey. What a beautiful, poetic and sad piece of work.

  12. Tim said, on January 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Reblogged this on Camera Works.

  13. douglaslowell said, on January 12, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    For me winter brings to mind Kertesz (looking down on the tracks in snow), Callahan (grass or sticks poking up through snow), and Fukase (dead raven in snow).

  14. Matt Weber said, on January 13, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Koudelka’s Great Dane Silhouette in the French snow…

    • jesus said, on January 16, 2012 at 4:04 am

      another vote for this photography,

  15. Alex said, on January 13, 2012 at 3:06 am

    Chris Killip’s photographs of seacoalers always looked very cold to me

  16. David Simonton said, on January 13, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Sudek did winter well, I think.

  17. Paul Alexander Knox said, on January 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    My favourite is the aptly titled ‘Winterreise’ – A documentation of a journey across Russia by Luc Delahaye.

  18. Greta Pratt said, on January 15, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Ever since you posted this I have been trying to find my copy of Tom Arndt’s “Home”. I am sure there are some great winter photographs in there. But alas I cannot locate it. I have a vague recollection of lending it to a student. Hmmm….now who could that be?

  19. Jon said, on January 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Snow + Window + Tulips

  20. Bob Black said, on January 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Yo, alec…and lbm tribe….

    winter, descend here alas like a branch snapped by thought, at last….thought for a while about this….was going to (ego) post a link to a series I did about winter and then to a series my wife did about winter and than to a series of books/photos i’ve always loved about winter from Giacomelli to Koudelka to Mikhailov to Jukka O to Moryiama to well, a library of images in my head and on our bookshelves….and then, i thought, above all, even more than pictures, Winter reminds me of home….not specially a place, per se, but the notion of home…of being lost and aching a way back, of dying and then recovering, of bodies clenched and heart’s tucked aside in the corner and of all that winter means: the need to be in that one place that houses the heart and builds the body from the loss of all the things covered and caping from the winter snag….so, instead of a photo or book or essay from a photographer, i’ll leave something I always loved by Beckett…in a sense it has always spoken to me of both…..winter and what winter points toward, home:



    to and fro in shadow from inner to outer shadow

    from impenetrable self to impenetrable unself
    by way of neither

    as between two lit refuges whose doors once
    neared gently close, once away turned from
    gently part again

    beckoned back and forth and turned away

    heedless of the way, intent on the one gleam
    or the other

    unheard footfalls only sound

    till at last halt for good, absent for good
    from self and other

    then no sound

    then gently light unfading on that unheeded

    unspeakable home

    –Samuel Beckett

  21. Joe said, on January 29, 2012 at 8:28 am

    The snow scenes in Fukase’s “The Solitude of Ravens” are pretty spellbinding.

  22. Davin Ellicson said, on February 2, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    These snowscapes because I have yet to see any others like them:

  23. Nicola Principato said, on February 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Hi there, thank you for this very nice selection.
    As everybody’s posting his or her links, would it be possible to upgrade this blog and let us add 1 picture with each reply? It would be fun, sort of photographic-mixed-with-text reply.
    Thank you, all the best,
    Nicola Principato

  24. Bruce Meisterman said, on February 22, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Love your winter selection.Being a Northerner but living in the South, I miss the quiet solitude of snow, the hibernating cold of winter, and winter light. These capture that so beautifully.

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