Winter Through the Eyes of a Photographer

By Danny Hart

<i>Erie Canal - Photo by Danny Hart</i>

Erie Canal - Photo copyright Danny Hart (click image to see larger)

There is something magical about a cold winter morning. The crackle of snow under your boots and the crisp feel of the air as you breathe in deeply. Recently, I visited family in Upstate New York for the holidays. It has become my ritual during these trips to take a morning escape to the outdoors for a photo adventure.

The call of the outdoors runs strongly in my genetic material. Fishermen, hikers, snowmobilers, snowshoers, outdoorsmen (and women) of every ilk are we. Growing up, the New York winters were long, so we constantly found ways to embrace Mother Nature in all her glory.

Out of a cozy warm bed and into air which registered 12 degrees. I quietly stepped out from my sister’s home, and into the morning adventure. First a stop at the nearby lock of the Erie Canal, less than a mile away, to capture the rising sun shimmering off the Canal ice while 2 ducks stared with knowing grins across their beaks. It was just the ducks and I this frigid morn. Then taking my leave from my feathered friends I headed 25 minutes west to the shores of Otisco Lake.

Otisco Lake Sunrise - Photo by Danny Hart

Otisco Lake Sunrise - Photo copyright Danny Hart (click image to see larger)

To be out in the environment, and to be open to the beauty of the moment and looking with an artist’s eye is something I likely will never be able to explain with words. And it is that feeling that keeps me coming back time and again. When folks ask me about a photo I’ve taken I try to describe emotions or light or composition but realize it’s just best to let the photo do the talking. For me it’s all about the moment of connecting with the beauty all around us. Pausing…for just a moment.

So, whether you’re a photographer or not, finding time to get outdoors; even when the temperature drops lower than you’d like, is worth the effort. It’s one of the reasons my work here at EPA is so fulfilling to me. I feel each day I work to help preserve my favorite subject.

About the Author: Danny Hart has been with EPA since 2006. He’s the Associate Director of Web Communications. Danny spent eight years in the US Army as a Combat Photographer.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.