Sunday, November 21, 2010

Winter In The Hills

With winter now upon us and snow lying on the ground, I know there are some of you with concerns about shooting photos at this time of the year. Yes, shooting photographs in the winter can be a challenging season to shoot photos in. Probably more photographs are discarded in the winter time than in any other season.
This is because the average tone of a snow-covered landscape is far lighter than a gray card. So, your photographs of snow are often underexposed. The rules for snow photography are very simple. Most of your photographs will probably turn out too dark, and possibly with a shade of blue if you let your meter be your guide. I have always found that a rule that I apply is one that I abide by, "If it is bright, add light." What I mean by this is that with my camera set to aperture priority, and with snow lying everywhere, I will adjust my camera to over-expose by one or two stops. Photography during the winter is a challenge, even for the most experienced photographer. So, don't get discouraged, keep learning from your mistakes and keep practicing.

I'm sure there were those who would be sitting in front of the fire on this morning. However I was not one of them as I drove north with my truck thermometer reading minus 24 Celsius. The temperature had been minus 20 upon leaving home, but once I had left the city behind, the temperature had dropped and now was holding steady at minus 24. I drove north on a number of backroads in the general direction of the 567, the Balzac road. Before long I found myself on the 567 east of Airdrie and with nothing happening out this way, I decided to take a run over to Big Springs Provincial Park.

.Big Springs Provincial Park is best known for its waterfalls, which cascade over a series of rocky terraces in a lush landscape of shrubs and grasses during the summer.The falls flow year-round and are an excellent spot to view wildlife, hike or just take in the scenery. On a morning such as this one, the park would be stunning with all the fresh snow that had fallen overnight. I picked up a coffee at Tim's in Airdrie on the way through which hit the spot with the temperature now hovering at minus 20. Leaving Airdrie behind, I took it easy as I travelled at a leisurely 80k on the partially snow covered road west. Upon reaching the Big Springs turnoff, I noticed that there were only one set of tracks leading into the park before me.

Once in the parking lot, I put on my parka and my snow pants, before changing my footwear for my Sorels. Equipped with my favorite winter cap and Black-Diamond gloves, I grabbed my camera gear and headed up along the creek. I was pleased to find that the -20 temperatures had kept everyone home with the result being pristine snow in all directions.I tramped along the creek,
stopping whenever I saw a photo-op. Have I mentioned that I love being out on mornings like this with fresh snow all about and the only sound to be heard, was from my snow boots as I hiked through the freshly fallen snow. I worked my way up to the top of the draw, near the beginnings of the spring that feeds this lovely little creek. From there I headed back down to the parking lot where I had left my truck. In the two hours that I spent in the park, I only saw one other person, another photographer out and about like myself.

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