Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Early spring in Wisconsin is often marked by late season snowfalls that consist of intense bursts of snow that can appear serious but are usually short-lived.  We had one of those events earlier in April and I grabbed my camera to try to capture it.

I didn't have to go far to get a feel for the furious snow. The question then was how to capture that intensity.  Here, first, is a shot I took of the woods behind a pond in our subdivision.

One of my objectives here was to feature individual flakes, which were huge.  In order to keep the flakes from turning into streaks, I needed to have a relatively fast shutter speed (in the case of each of the shots in this post, exposures of 1/100 to1/125 second).  In addition, even though the scene was at quite a distance, I needed to set the focal distance much closer so that the flakes in focus looked as large as they did in person.  This, by the way, created all kinds of problems for my camera's autofocus system, as it didn't know which flakes to focus on--those close or those further away--and kept shifting from one focal plane to another.  Ultimately, I switched to manual focus and set the focal plane on flakes not too far away, which, with the lens set at a wide open aperture of f/4, reduced the depth of field, leaving the background out of focus.  I was OK with that, as it  accentuated the intensity of the snow, which was the primary subject of this shoot.

Here is another shot of the subdivision woods.

This was also shot at f/4, but the camera wound up exposing the shot for a little longer and there is some streakiness in the snow visible against the larger tree on the left.

I then drove over to nearby Virmond Park and took a shot of a pavilion set in some woods.  This shot probably did the best at featuring the individual flakes.  It also included a point of interest that the other woods shots lacked.

Finally, here is another shot of a tree overlooking another of the subdivision ponds.  The snow had diminished, but it served the same function as fog in eliminating background distractions.

I liked this shot for the gnarly quality of the tree's branches.

One good thing about spring snows: they are usually gone in a day or two.  This one was no exception.


1 comment:

  1. Wow! Such nice pictures of a late spring snow storm