Cloudy, 19 Degrees, Calm Winds
Yesterday we got at least six inches of fluffy snow and this morning a few flakes are still drifting down. I knew the extra snow would make walking in the woods extremely difficult, so I dug out the snow shoes and took them with me. Well guess what? Snow shoes are very strenuous to walk in. I’m wasted from the walk; at least as tired as I might have been had I left them home.
On top of that, when I got to the woods, I struggled into the snow shoes—there are a lot of straps and buckles to mess with—and I took my camera out of the plastic bag I had it in and was getting ready to take my usual shot of the road, only to discover that I had left the battery home in the charger. So, a very strenuous walk and no pictures. Crap.
Lacking any photos from today, I think I’ll insert some images from my portfolio of earlier photographs. They’re things I’m proud of and I wouldn’t mind sharing them when I can. I might even do some posts about individual images apart from my daily images.
Yesterday I printed a bunch of my best images to get a better look at them. Prints are very different from screen images and they remain the final arbiter for me. There’s a lot more detail in them than on screen because of the much higher resolution. I’m making just small 7 x 10” prints for now. I’ll make big prints of the ones I think are good enough. Big prints (27 x 40”) are different yet again from small prints, but the small prints help me make decisions about what to print larger.
I printed some of the best landscape shots and several of the overhead branches shots. Right now, I think there are only one or two landscapes from the first two weeks that are good enough to print and sell. The overhead trees are promising. I think the ones with the heavier vignetting are better than the straight edits. The ones with the heavy blur and heavy textures I don’t like as well. The tree trunks are not quite there yet, I don’t think. I’m still working on a way to make them as strong as I’d like. I have some more ideas and I’ll share them when I get to them.
I was a little surprised that only a couple of the branches shots were really good. They all looked great through the viewfinder, but like most other things in photography, only ones with especially good compositions and really interesting tree forms seem like they might be worthwhile. I’ll spend more time shooting them and see if I find more that seems worth my while—or other people’s while.
I’m going to set up a collection in Lightroom to gather the very best images—ones that I might print for sale. I’m starting to get a lot of images and I want to do some winnowing before the numbers get unmanageable. There are a lot of “nice” images and lots of good documentary shots that I might use in some way, but I want to collect just ones that are strong enough for sale. Maybe I’ll start another collection of good documentary shots for later use.
The woods themselves were beautiful, draped in snow everywhere. I doubt I would have found any pictures suitable for my portfolio but I’m disappointed not to have pictures for today. I thought about going back tonight, but I suspect tomorrow’s pictures will look a lot like today’s might have. I don’t think I’ll be so compulsive as to go back to take a few pictures. Isn’t that healthy? Certainly, I will miss days when we go on vacation or perhaps if I get sick. It’s not the end of the world, but I was very disappointed standing there in the road with my snowshoes on.
The snowshoes are very awkward. I must be a little splay-footed because I kept stepping on the tails of the shoes. The walk is not natural, so there are muscles in my hips that got very tired from the unusual gait. I stopped every once in a while to catch my breath, especially on the hills, but in the end I made it okay.
The woods were indeed beautiful. The snow is very fluffy because it was cold yesterday as it fell. It just sifted down from the sky in small flakes all day long. It never really snowed heavily, but in the end it added up to a lot of snow. We’re expected to get more this weekend. Any thoughts I had about an early spring are gone now. It’s been both cold and snowy this February, which is a little unusual.
One cool thing about the snow shoes is that they pack down this wide flat trail, unlike the narrow uneven trail I make in regular shoes. I might use them a time or two more to make a good trail for later in the year, especially if it continues to snow this weekend.