Photos through the windshield


I have been chastised for taking photos through the windshield many times.  From a photographic point of view,  this activity comes with built-in hazards, especially since car washing is one of my least loved chores.

Taking photos through glass is already not cool, but glass with mud spots, insect splatters, rain and dust drops, et cetera, gives photos that may actually focus on windshield texture rather than your intended point of view. However, when travelling at thirty clicks on the highway with nowhere to pull over, it beats not getting the picture at all. The results are somewhat random. I throw many of them out (which is the blessing of digital photography).

Luck is in if you hit a red light with traffic backing up far enough that you don’t have to include the mechanical aspects of the intersection – wires, traffic lights, lamp standards, walk and don’t walk signs, and the like.

On my trip to Vancouver the other day, I managed to take full advantage of the zoom capacity on the camera to isolate some pictures from the industrialization of our byways.

Also, my friend and I went to a concert of Spanish flamenco music out here in the boonies. The venue is a very modern “farm” house built in the post and beam ‘Sixties style with a huge “family” room that is used to seat about eighty people. There are 30 acres of farm surrounding it.

The day was cold and crisp. After two days of low lying fog and this freezing weather, a beautiful coating of hoar frost covered every little twig and branch. Driving up to the entrance,  I could see a million opportunities for beautiful photos that I knew I would not get to take. My concert companion was driving and after the concert was in a hurry to go elsewhere. There would be no patience to let me click my way to heaven.

I must say that the scenery was of the “pretty picture” variety – grasses coated in rime, hoar frost on the branches,  traditional farm fencing, trees in the distance with a light coating of white, a pale blue wintery sky.

Parking at this place is limited so we got there a half hour early so that we could park close to the house, it being very cold out and neither I nor my companion wanted to risk the icy walk to the front door from any appreciable distance.

The concert and demonstration of flamenco dancing was awesome.  No wonder the lady who was dancing was svelte. Foot stomping with such determined and complicated rhythm must just pare you down in a hurry! She kept it up for an hour and a half with only little breaks in the program for a guitar solo and then, midway, for a costume change. The dancer was  Michelle Harding and Juan de Marias was the flamenco guitarist.

I took a few photos before the concert from inside the concert hall through double glazing – the small greenhouse and the plant pots.  When we left, I begged my companion to slow down so that I could take pictures through the windshield.

“There are cars coming behind us. I can’t just stop. I’m going as slowly as I can. Are you done yet? Can I go now?”  I was happy that some decrepit looking seniors got in front of the car and we had to progress at their walking speed.  Digital photography does not like fast movement.

Click, click, click. It was a prolonged moment of frustration as the camera insisted on showing me what I had taken before it would let me take another. I couldn’t reframe and refocus fast enough!

Despite all that I got a few very nice pictures, not photographically clean – a few mudspots in the way –  but I have something adequate that I can use as references for painting, which is the chief aim of my photographic endeavor.

Here they are, farm ones first and then the last few were on the highway:





















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5 Responses to “Photos through the windshield”

  1. wordface Says:

    I think your pictures are great. I especially like the close up with the hoar frost.

  2. Flamenco Dancing Guitar and Cajon Spanish Music » Blog Archive » Photos through the windshield « ars longa; vita brevis Says:

    […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThe concert and demonstration of flamenco dancing was awesome. No wonder the lady who was dancing was svelte. Foot stomping with such determined and complicated rhythm must just pare you down in a hurry! She kept it up for an hour and a … Read the rest of this great post here Posted in Uncategorized on January 28th, 2009 | […]

  3. swatch Says:

    OK now I see what hoar frost is. very interesting. These are great pictures – beautiful composition. thanks hey.

    Do you guys skate on those frozen ponds?

    BTW I am sure there should be a setting on your camera to turn off the photo review each time you hit the shutter. I turned it off on mine because it was so frustrating.

    Wrap up!

    • lookingforbeauty Says:

      I’ve got my parka on outside, and my fireplace heating up the inside!
      This winter, there were home made skating rinks around town. But ponds? They have to be a certain thickness or someone could fall through the ice and you don’t want to get hypothermia coming out of that frigid water and into a minus 15 Celsius atmosphere!
      I remember a few years where we could skate on Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, but that was many, many years back. The Frazer river froze over to the extent that the Albion Ferry could not run during a two week period this year. It’s been exceptional for us.
      Canada has many climates, since it goes from one side of the continent to the other. Ours is particularly mild, being just along the coast and tempered by the ocean currents. In the prairies, yes, people will skate on the rivers and lakes for a major part of the winter.
      There has just been a bus strike for the last two months in Ottawa, Ontario, the nation’s Capital. It settled yesterday. The road have been clogged; the commute time has doubled; my nephew who lives there has had an hour and a half long walk to school in sub zero weather, come hail, sleet or snow. And then back again in the evening. That’s three hours out of his day, every day. I’m telling you this because – several people chose to skate or ski to work on the Rideau Canal that runs through the city! It was an invigorating bit of exercise before work and it avoided the huge traffic jams that occurred with all those extra cars on the road.
      Outside my window, as I write, it’s ten in the morning and there is brilliant sunshine and long blue shadows across the melting snow. It’s about five degrees above and the snow is slowly melting away.
      Enjoy your heat and sunshine and hopefully, get out there and paint!

  4. swatch Says:

    These low temperatures are inconceivable to me. We have had our first rains of the season and today has been cool (jersey weather) but I am sure you would find it sweltering. But the trees are losing their leaves and the frogs are queuing up at the ponds.

    I bet you are looking forward to Spring! S

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