A True Canadian
Any Canadian that has spent any amount of time outside during the winter has experienced the fingernail wrenching pain of frozen fingers, when the circulation slowly creeps back into the frozen digits and tears well up in your eyes, capturing this image was no exception.
I have this 50-foot willow tree growing near my Okanagan home that I have been promising myself for years to photograph, I was waiting for the perfect day, a day like this one. I was looking for the right amount of snow to block out the surrounding hill sides but not block out the tree itself. I swallowed the last of my morning coffee and with a gentle nudge from my wife Tracy I headed out into the cold.
Upon arrival to the old willow, the snow was coming down fast and heavy most of my time was spent wiping my lens from snow, setting up composition, wiping and resetting, over the next hour of shooting the cold started creeping into my hands making my fingers numb as I clumsily made adjustments to refine exposure and pressing the shutter was becoming a daunting task due to not having any feeling in the tips of my fingers, engaged in all of this process in hopes of waiting for the right moment when the snow would let up just enough in the foreground to see the tree but just enough snow to keep the backdrop masked in white.
Finally, the moment came the weather gave me the chance that I needed, I left knowing that I had an image that captures a moment in time that I have been waiting for many years to take. In a bitter-sweet moment it was all over, all but the searing finger pain that I knew I was in-store for when my hands slowly would come back to life.
The name of this image is “Joan” after Canadian artist/singer songwriter Joni Mitchell.