I guess I like solitude, and nothing quite says it like a cold beach covered in snow. It's empty here this time of year, not like a warm summer day when you can barely find room to get to the water. I think it's the idea of taking a photo of something that's normally associated with warmth and relaxation and then showing it in a completely different way. It's so much more interesting in the winter, and it changes so quickly. One day it might look nearly identical to how it does in the summer, just without all of the people, and the next it could be covered in snow and ice. I particularly like finding the transitional phases of it, like a few days after a snowstorm when the sand starts to come through from beneath the snow. The first image here is an example of that from Hecksher State Park a little over a month ago. I had this spot in mind and waited until it just started warming up so that the snow cover would be receding.
This next image is from the same park a few weeks later. The park looks over the Great South Bay which freezes over if it's been well below freezing for a few days. I didn't put too much planning into when I came here this time, I just wanted to get some shots over the frozen landscape. I had noticed on the forecast that some fog was going to be rolling in and I think that added an interesting element because the background blurs out to the point that you can't really see the land on the other side of the bay. It's kind of like faking an arctic scene or something. Those streams that form on top of the ice make for some convenient leading lines too, especially when I noticed this one catching the pink light from the sunset. In a few days all of this ice will be gone, and it will look like it does in the summer for a while.
That's why I liked the idea of including this one. It's from Robert Moses which is an ocean beach so it never freezes over like the bay can. It's an interesting contrast though because it's just a few miles away and taken in the same month (though a year earlier) and looks just like a typical beach. Nothing really wintery about it, but the emptiness and cool blues can kind of give you a sense of the cold. The photo below is of the same beach after another snowfall this January.
A completely different feeling from nearly the same exact location at the same time of year. The way the winds mix the snow and sand give a really cool effect, and one that's only there for a few days if that. All of these beaches are awesome environments to photograph in the winter. You can't go two days in a row and expect the same landscape like you can in the summer, and on top of that you usually have most of it to yourself. So if you're tired of the cold, go to the beach. And if you're not able to overlook the fact that this advice won't make you warmer then get a flight to the desert - which just happens to be what I'm doing in March.
I'm starting to sell some prints on my website here if you're interested. I may add more soon but if you are looking for a specific image of mine let me know.