Sunday, January 26, 2014

BRUTAL JANUARY

It's been nearly a month since I have posted any photos to my Skeptic Photo blog.  My excuse is that this winter's weather has been brutal and it has simply been difficult to get out for a shoot.  But I thought I would post what I have managed to get.

On one mid-January morning, even though the temperature was only a few degrees above zero Fahrenheit, there was little wind and I went down to the beach at Doctors Park, hoping to capture some of the ice that had built up along the shore.  I found that more difficult than I had envisioned.  Here is one of the only shots that I thought conveyed some of the bleakness that the winter has wrought.  I was attracted to the iceberg floating a few feet off the ice shelf along the shore.


As I was leaving I noticed some unusual (for me at least) ice formations also floating near the shore--or at least where the open water met the ice shelf that extended out into the lake.



These "floes" averaged perhaps two feet across and were generally slowly spinning in the modest swells on the lake.  I haven't been back to see if they are still there.

Then on Sunday the 26th, I woke to a snowfall, and, even though the temperature was hovering around 10 degrees, the wind was calm.  The lack of wind had two effects.  First, the fluffy snow could build up without being blown into drifts, and, second, I felt I could go out without getting frozen out.

It was still snowing heavily when I started out a little before dawn, and the first shots I got were of the woods behind the pond in our subdivision.


I wasn't sure how to capture the falling snow.  I shot the above image with the aperture at a wide open f/4 but focused on the small evergreen in the foreground.  This was shot a little before sunrise and the light was very blue.  I decided to convert this as well as the other shots to black & whites and to ramp up the contrast.  I'm not sure that was the best strategy, but it did serve to highlight the falling snow.

I headed for a set of woods in western Mequon and on the way pulled over to take the following shot of trees on the median.  Again, I opened up the aperture and focused on the subject trees, hoping to further soften the focus on the background.


Just OK, I thought.

On to the woods.  I had taken some nice shots in these private woods in December on a day of heavy fog.  I was hoping the snow would serve a similar purpose.  Not so, unfortunately.  Here are a couple of shots that I took.



Disappointed, I headed home for a few more shots of the subdivision woods.


This first was something of an experiment as I was trying to emphasize the snow that was still falling, though not as heavily.  Here I opened up the aperture but focused, not on the trees but on the foreground space.  I was able to freeze a few flakes in the foreground, but the woods are thoroughly out of focus.  By contrast, the shot below was taken at an intermediate f/8 and the focus was on the evergreen, bringing all of the trees into pretty good focus.


And finally here are a couple of shots that illustrate how delicately the snow was building up on some of the holdover fall leaves in our subdivision woods.


Check out the monster hexagonal snowflake about halfway up on the left of the fluff of snow in the shot above.


I am hoping for better weather in the coming days.

John

1 comment:

  1. John, What great pictures. I love the tuft of snow about the best along with the snow flakes

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