"Come with rain, O loud Southwester! Bring the singer, bring the nester:"
- Robert Frost
In his poem, "To the Thawing Wind," Robert Frost wrote about the southwest winds that announced the beginning of spring around his snowy New England farm. The snowbanks would steam; the warmth of the sun could be felt through the windows; the white landscape would turn to brown. He concludes the poem by asking the wind to "Scatter poems on the floor; Turn the poet out of door."
Although the transition between winter and spring is not quite so dramatic around here as it is in New England, it's still a great time to go outside and photograph the emerging green, the subtle colors of budding trees, nesting birds, the changing light from winter's long shadows to the higher angles around the vernal equinox.
Changing light is always a good time to grab your camera and go outside. Whether it's the morning sun burning through a spring fog, squall lines announcing a passing cold front or the first hint of sun on emerging spartina grasses in the marshes — these fleeting moments can become beautiful reminders of a special time and place that no other medium can capture quite as well as photography.
This photograph of crab dredgers is a case in point.
I was out with my friend, Capt. Loni Moore, crab dredging out of Cape Charles, VA, in December 1990 to photograph that fishery, which is now banned to help conserve the blue crab. Most of the photographs from the day out on the water aboard the Loni Carroll show Moore and his crew hauling in the giant dredges, culling crabs and putting them in bushel baskets as well as similar scenes of other boats in the vicinity.
Late in the morning, a massive cold front came roaring through, with gale force winds whipping the water into a frenzy, dark clouds scudding overhead and an eery light that lasted mere minutes.
Using the highest shutter speed possible to counter the motion of the boat, I made this most memorable photo of the day showing the fleet of boats with captains and crews going about their business in very interesting light. The monochrome blue cast and dark, somber mood fully captured that moment in time.
Seasonal changes in the weather often provide opportunities for great photographs and the transition between winter and spring may be the best time to, with apologies to Frost, turn the photographer out of door.