Expanded Neighborhood Snow Photo Op
Thursday 22 March 2012 — Category: Shooting
As I was shooting, I experimented with various shutter speeds, which gave dramatically different results, as you can see in a picture taken with the identical composition as the one shown here, only with a slower shutter speed (1/160 sec. vs. 1/13 sec.) — pretty cool! After that, it was time for bed.
Apparently it snowed most of the night, because in the morning there was an additional three inches or so of new snow. Seeing that the weather service was predicting a fairly rapid thaw, I was outside with my camera by 7:00. Because of the cold and wet, I wanted to take only one lens for my Sony Alpha α77 camera. I debated whether to mount my new Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle lens, or my general purpose Sony 24-70mm lens. Although I knew I would sorely miss the wide-angle lens on some shots, the versitility of the 24-70mm focal length eventually won me over.
After taking some shots around the house, I headed out to the neighborhood forest of the Oak Creek Greenbelt. I had not anticipated that the snow in the forest would be melting so soon. There were large puddles of water on the trail, and large drops of melted snow dripping onto my camera! Luckily for my feet, I had insulated rain boots on. My camera was not so fortunate, but I tried to keep it protected under my arm, which worked fairly well.
There was lots of beautiful scenery in the forest and around the swamp. I especially liked the wonderful reflections of the trees in the shallow waters of the swamp. After being out for about half an hour, I slowly made my way back home, where more interesting photo ops awaited me. I switched to my macro lens, to see what I could see in the wintery world of up-close.
I spent another 45 minutes just in the front yard and the back yard, using my photographic eye to discover unique points of view, always trying to take advantage of the constantly changing lighting conditions. With my macro lens, I took the same shot numerous times, with various aperture settings. Once I started processing them back in my office, I realized that, because of the shallow depth-of-field on the macro lens, the shots with larger apertures (like f/2.8, f/4, f6.3, etc.) just didn’t have enough depth-of-field to keep the entire subject in focus. The best photos were shot with smaller apertures, like f/16, f/22 and f/32.
I took over 200 photos during the past 24 hours of spring equinox snow. I’ve narrowed them down to the best 47, which can be found in the Albany Snow Mar 2012 photo album. This is a nice continuation of last year’s Albany Snow Feb 2011 photo album.
The past two days were another example of the great photo opportunities that exist right where we live, without having to travel for hours (or days!) just to get to some “beautiful” spot. I’m looking forward to some traveling this year, of course, but I’m also grateful for the chance to practice my craft, and learn new things, without having to even leave my neighborhood!