Brian's Photo Blog — Article 60
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Expanded Neighborhood Snow Photo Op
Thursday 22 March 2012   —   Category: Shooting

As the snow continued to fall last evening, I took some more photos from my office window and from the front porch. I got some great shots of the snow flakes illuminated by the street light across from our house.

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-​20​mm wide-angle lens, or my general purpose Sony 24-​70​mm lens. Although I knew I would sorely miss the wide-angle lens on some shots, the versitility of the 24-​70​mm 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!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 60
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