With 6 to 8 inches of snow forecast, I awoke early to arrive at work on time. When I took a gander out the window, I saw only 2 inches of new snow and a rather clear street. Great; easy drive to work! I also saw plenty of fresh snow on the trees and some breaks in the clouds, so I got fired up for photography! My D5000 was already waiting, so off I went.
I left early to give myself 25 minutes of shooting before my shift. I began my shoot at the Lions Loon Creek Park in Coon Rapids, MN (just down the road from work)…here we go!
PLEASE NOTE: all focal lengths listed in the Metadata from now on will now carry a qualifier of “APS-C”, for my cropped sensor DSLR cameras.
With the sun just peaking out from a bank of clouds, it delivers some mood here. I liked how the large trunk anchors the shot, and angles into it from the left. For those of you familiar with the area, Hanson Boulevard is in the background. How I caught it with no cars at Rush Hour is because I waited for the right moment. A good start to the shoot, methinks.
A wider view and different angle of the same scene. What caught my eye was the warm, sunlit trees against the multiple colors in the layers of the sky. Yes, both these images were taken in full Manual Mode.
Some local fowl. Shortly after I took this, 2 shots rang out, and they quickly dropped from the sky. JUST KIDDING! No flying creatures were harmed during the building of this page.
I like the red color here but I’m not sure the composition works. Any closer and I would have fallen in. That would have sucked.
One of my favorites of the day. The sun’s rays were still quite diffused by the clouds and the soft light really worked well here. Check out the contrasting trees; the pines on the left, and the leaning tall tree on the right…they give a nice balance to this scene. I wish I had gotten more of the tree on the right in the frame, though. Just a hint of blue in the upper right as the clouds were starting to give way.
It was about 31F when I was taking these. Overall, my body was warm, but my hands were so cold they just about locked up. Anyway, fairly good contrast in the continued soft light here with a variety of shapes.
I needed to get to work (and warm my hands!), but I was hoping for more shots. I knew the sun was about to break out, so I decided to try the same spot I shot from on April 12 and April 19; behind Tammy’s work. This is where things just took off.
Just before the sun broke out of the clouds, I saw this. For whatever reason, it looked almost tropical to me, and still does. I really liked the back-lighting here, so that’s why I took this.
I saw this just as the sun broke out. The subject is not entirely in focus, but I wanted a narrow depth of field to blur the background, so I chose a low aperture setting. I wish I had my 17-55mm F/2.8 on my Flagship D7000 here, but so it goes.
The sun is just about fully emerged and I included it in this back-lit shot, hoping for a bit of a starburst (which I got). I could have easily Photoshopped out the lens flare, but elected not to. Although I processed all of these images with Nikon’s ViewNX2, I did not use Photoshop on any of them.
The music for this page is “Here Comes Bobby” by Bobby Sherman (yes..man enough to admit I have Bobby Sherman in my CD library!), and “Clockwork Angels” by Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Rush (I joined in for part of “Seven Cities of Gold”…my personal favorite of that CD).
The interesting story behind this image is I didn’t realize I was standing in a swamp when I took it. When I started sinking and felt my feet get really cold (wet), I realized I needed to move; but NOT before I got this shot.
Great colors and lighting here. About this time some of Tammy’s coworkers started showing up, and I’m sure they were wondering who the weirdo was standing in the swamp, and what was he doing there. Oh yeah, he parked real funny and left his engine running, too…
Does this image work? I dunno. The trunk in the middle caught my eye and I was really happy when I took it. Now, not so much. Still, of the 113 shutter clicks, it made it to the finals.
This is my personal favorite of the day. With the sun now just beaming on the bright snow, I was firing away, wildly (notice my settings haven’t changed?). I don’t even recall taking this…seriously! I think I just looked up, clicked the shutter, and moved on…haw!
Rather obvious juxtaposed contrast of the trunk and the snow-covered branch. It works. So did this locale. A key benefit here was the fewer trees and the swamp allowed more sun to illuminate the area, versus the more heavily wooded park I had been at.
This image TOTALLY reminds me of that alien creature from the Star Trek episode “The Savage Curtain” which featured Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, with President Lincoln, and Vulcan icon Surak, in a “good versus evil” battle. Seriously, doesn’t it? The snow covered branches on the left and right are his hands and arms, and the snow filled branches up top are his head…his left arm seems to be pointing to my work; just down the road…hmm….ok, ok, I’ve been working WAY too hard on this page…
No! I do not have a Star Trek uniform…my NASCAR brethren would disown me (I do love Star Trek, though)…
I had tried a shot similar to this earlier at the park but it didn’t have the better light and vivid blue sky I wanted. The graduated sky color vertically across the frame is kinda neat.
A shot somewhat similar to one I took at the park, but with harder light, and all blue sky this time. The same balance is there, with the two main trees leaning towards the center. Gayle, our Admin Manager at work, pointed out the tree on the right is the Space Alien. Right she is!
Back at work, with almost the same shot I took on April 19. This time with harder light, a blue sky, and a much better camera. It’s a very busy shot, but that’s what I wanted.
A quick trip to the body shop next door brings us just this single image; the final one of the day.
Within a few hours, almost all the snow you see in these shots was gone. Sometimes you have to react quickly — and show up 30 minutes late for work. I paid for that, however. We were swamped and I had to work straight through with no breaks, not even for lunch.
By the way, I titled this page “Snow Shots” because technically, Winter ended on March 20. Yeah, right. Anyway, this was my 7th page on snow/Winter images, and it ended up being the best of the lot. Just give me 7 tries, and yeah, I’ll get something decent…
This was a REALLY enjoyable shoot. Not only was the subject matter fun, but the mixture of both soft and hard light was a joy to work with. I was also excited to recognize there was quality photographic light available, which I took advantage of.
Finally, you may also want to see my Winter Image Lesson page from this shoot!
all images © Scott Woelm – April 2013