You need just the right combination of dampness and cold weather and you are rewarded with the most beautiful morning frost.
If the forecast warns against freezing fog, even better, I know to be ready first thing in the morning. You need to be quick to capture it, this is one occasion it will not do to be slow. As the sun comes up, by 10 o’clock the latest the artwork will have vanished forever.
Last weekend, we had the first cold spell of the season, and three wonderfully frosty mornings in a row. I was out with my camera, trying to photograph every leaf and flower in the garden. There was no weed too humble to be photographed.
In fact wild flowers make the best photographic subjects on such mornings. They have a delicate airiness and lightness that looks so beautiful when covered with a dusting of ice.
I make a point of not tidying up my garden for the winter. I want all those grasses, seedheads, twigs, dead flowers and leaves to be there. What would I photograph otherwise?
Umbellifers make the most photogenic models of all for winter photography. One of my favourites is Ammi visnaga, a more interesting and refined cousin of cow parsley. It looks wonderful in the summer, but it is even more valuable in the winter garden, when you can really appreciate its architectural qualities.