Sunday, January 9, 2011

Perfect Snow Day

I love photographing snow scenes. There's something about the calming effect of a covering of that cold white stuff. But all too often the realities of a snowfall make it difficult to accomplish that photography. Extreme cold temperatures, wind, interference with mobility and parking, quickly melting snow covering, short duration weather events, and more. Too often heavy snowfalls make it nearly impossible to get out and get around. When I want to get out and shoot many parking lots have not yet been plowed, and I can forget about finding a small spot on the side of the road to pull over. Even the slightest of wind can quickly blow the snow off of buildings and trees. Anything more than a very light snowfall is difficult to shoot in since the snow melts immediately when hitting the camera and lens - it is almost like shooting in a light rain.

So yesterday's snow fall had all the elements coming together:

  • Fairly light snowfall in progress

  • No wind

  • Happening on a Saturday morning when I had no other commitments

  • Started around 7 AM, so roads and parking lots were accessible

  • Lasted most of the day

So I was out for about 2-3 hours, hitting many of the scenic Bucks County spots along the Delaware River and towards Doylestown. I did have to pack it in for some personal errands, but that is a fairly good amount of time. I did have to protect the camera and lens due to the melting snow, but that was the only thing working against me.

Below is the first of a series I will be posting from this day. I did have to park in a precarious spot along the side of the road to avoid a long walk to this field near the Thompson Neely Farm. It was snowing lightly at this point, but the distance to the horses makes it look like much heavier.

"Two Horses"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunset Grazing

I was fortunate to recently capture the following image. I was driving northwest through Bucks County towards Doylestown and I passed by a large horse farm. I often pass by this farm and see tempting shots that I cannot take because there is simply no place to park along most of the country roads in this area. But on this day I spotted the setting sun from one corner of the property behind a lone horse was grazing in the enclosed pen. I parked on a cul de sac about 1000 feet away and walked to the scene.

I took a number of photos with my handheld 150-500mm lens on my new Nikon D90, and unfortunately many were trash because I was not paying attention to the auto-focus and how it was frequently locking on to the distant fence rather than the horse. So once I realized this I locked in a good focus with the A/M switch on my camera and took a number of "good" shots. I like this composition best of all the shots I took, since the sun was not too dominant and overpowering, and the horse's outline, as well as both of its ears, is clearly in the frame.

"Sunset Grazing"