Oh my goodness! “Wake me up when it’s Summer” Scott went out and took some WINTER images? No. Say it ain’t so, Joe! I suddenly got motivated to do some photography, so here you go. Since I think anything under 70 degrees is too cold, it had to be on my terms, which equated to a proximate indoor heat source. I like to think I’m easy to work with.
Nikon D5000 with a Nikkor 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G ED lens shot at F/5.6 and a 1/200 of a second shutter speed. ISO 100. Focal length: 52mm.
Doesn’t this look like it was taken out in some remote field in the middle of nowhere? I must have frozen my can off! Guess again. It was taken next to my employer, in Coon Rapids, in a ditch on Highway 10…I am not making that up! Check out that blue light (it’s not just at twilight, folks) and I even snuck the moon in there. Obviously this is a morning shot, taken a short while after sunrise.
The only negative here is while kneeling down to get the shot, the snow-covered heel of my shoe got my aforementioned can all damp. I hate it when that happens.
Another shot from the ditch. This one is quite deceptive, which is fun. Is that blue sky with clouds at the top of the frame?
Nikon D5000 with a Nikkor 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G ED lens shot at F/10 and a 1/160 of a second shutter speed. ISO 100. Focal length: 40mm.
Taken next door at the body shop, I’m not convinced this works, but here it is anway. I wanted to get that rusted quarter panel I took in May of 2012, but I couldn’t get at it. So I had to settle for this.
Nikon D5000 with a Nikkor 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G ED lens shot at F/16 and a 1/80 of a second shutter speed. ISO 100. Focal length: 46mm.
Two key Winter photo elements highlight this image. First off, try to keep your compositions simple. Secondly, and more vital…OVER-EXPOSE YOUR SNOW SHOTS! See my helpful tips at the end of this page for more details.
“FX4 OFF ROAD”….yep…looks like that worked out real well for you…
A total “grab shot”, as I just happened to see the jet contrail pointing right at the sun. Note the lens flare off to the right. I couldn’t Photoshop it out to my liking so I left it in there. I really like this shot.
Nikon D5000 with a Nikkor 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G ED lens shot at F/13 and a 1/80 of a second shutter speed. ISO 100. Focal length: 46mm.
Nothing says Minnesota in Winter quite like salt covering your car. This does need “WASH ME” fingered into it, however. Damn…that’s MY car!
Taken just to screw you up. It looks like it was taken on July 4, not January 4, and that’s what I had in mind (and my attempt to give Winter, the bird). Shortly after taking this, a tree in our parking lot, I scurried inside to warm up.
Some thoughts on today’s images:
• Destination Unknown. Hey! Who says you have to take a trip to someplace unique to get fun images? That’s a bunch of crap! You can get plenty of interesting images from WHERE YOU ARE. You just have to use some imagination, that’s all. None of these shots are award-winning, but they’re web-worthy. Away from my desk for just a few minutes at work today, and look what I was able to get in a ditch.
• Bytor and the Snow Dog. The brightness of the snow really screws up a camera’s meter, and fools it into making exposure choices that can turn your shots gray and lifeless. By over-exposing your images, you will bring back the life and deliver the energy the scene had. Use your camera’s display screen to guide you as to how much to over-expose by. I start with an over-exposure of 1 stop as a minimum and work from there.
• Monty Got a RAW deal. I highly suggest shooting in RAW. That way if your exposure is off, you can more properly compensate during post-processing. This is especially important for Winter images.
• Settlin’. All these photos except my contrail “grab shot” where taken in full Manual mode. Just like your camera’s meter, Program modes can really get screwed up by the brightness of the snow. Don’t settle for Program, you’re better than that!
• Hit Me With Your Best Shot. A note on my “grab shot”…I was in Manual mode when I saw the contrail. Knowing I had very limited time to get the shot, I quickly switched to Program and fired away. A bad choice by the camera in Program is better than no shot at all (Note: if you shoot in RAW, you can more efficiently fix that bad choice). Be ready to adapt when situations change.
• Kiss You All Over. Cluttered Winter images are just that; cluttered. The best compositions I see are simple, and easy on the eyes. Try to find simple subjects, if you can. The K.I.S.S. method works well.
• Stone Cold. Batteries and cold do not mix, and your camera will conk out on you if the battery gets cold enough. It’s a good idea to keep a spare handy, and keep it warm.
Anyone notice the musical theme of my bullet points? If not, they are songs by Missing Persons, Rush (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2013!), REM, Sugarland, Pat Benatar (WHY isn’t she in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?), Exile, and Rainbow.
Speaking of music, the song “1000 Julys” by Third Eye Blind is on my CD player as I build this page. I am doing all I can to change our current meteorological situation to something more hospitable.
…ok, so I had the hots for Pat Benatar in the 80’s…so did every other young male…but did you know she won the Grammy for Best Female Rock Performance FOUR YEARS IN A ROW, and she’s not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? That’s just crazy…(by the way, her song, “Hell is for Children”, was promoting awareness of child abuse; a lot of people don’t know that)…
all images © Scott Woelm – January 2013