Walking Winter

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 Replies to “Walking Winter”

  1. 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.

  2. 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 :-(.
    Link: http://www.joachim-riederer.de/blog/?page_id=36
    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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: http://www.markpower.co.uk

    Takashi Homma has some interesting images of the Japanese winter landscape (this is the only link I can find with examples): http://runnersinfo.org/wp/?p=544#more-544

    And Koldelka’s famous image of a dog is captivating: http://tinyurl.com/7k5w7ja

    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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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?

  7. 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

  8. 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *