Snow on the weekend is wonderful beautiful snow. You don’t have to drive to work in it and you can just sit at home curled up by the warm fire and watch it come down. When I got up this Saturday morning, I looked outside and was amazed at how well the recent January thaw had cleared away all the remnants of our early January snowstorm.
By the time I got downstairs after breakfast it had started and the lawn and woods looked like they were coated in confectioner’s sugar. It was an unusual snow since the temperatures were in the low thirties, and as a result the flakes were huge – some an inch and a half in diameter. When I examined them closely I saw that they were actually clusters of ice crystals. Still it kept coming down. I was beginning to get suspicious of the prediction of a coating to two inches. In the end we got between four and five.
Saturday for my wife and me is dump day. When we got to the town dump the paths were untreated and we were shocked to find ourselves skidding despite AWD and driving really slowly and deliberately.
We came home for lunch, and then I had the brilliant idea of going out in the flaky deluge to take some pictures. It was by that point a true fairy wonderland outside, and snow pictures always pose one of my favorite challenges – tone on tone. I chose to use my Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens. I didn’t want to have to deal with my monopod; and this lens has lovely image stabilization and a fabulous modulation transfer function for sharp pictures of woodsy objects like branches.
OK, so I put on by snow boots, set my camera to a plus one exposure compensation (after a bit of through the window experimentation with the light), grabbed a hand-towel to cover and keep the camera dry, and off I went.
With the towel over my head, I became a bumbling photographic idiot. Every time I tried to compose the towel would slip in front of the lens. When I ventured a bit deeper into the woods and scrub, snow came off a tree and down the back of my neck – not so much fun.
But it was wonderful and peacefully silent. It was amazing how as I pushed my way into the woods all signs of suburbia vanished. I could as well have been trailblazing in the seventeenth century. OK, I’ve got a bit of an overactive imagination – you will recall the pareidolia. In the end, I got a couple of fairly decent images (shown here as Figures 1 & 2) – Photoshop by the fire. The endless debate in my mind of whether to tone warm or cold for snow, landed on the warm side this time. I want to dedicate these images to all of my California friends and readers who are suffering in the worst drought on record, and there isn’t even much snow in the Sierras.