March 6, 2018

Light Snow, 30 Degrees East Wind 10 mph.

The gray skies and spitting snow made today a less than wonderful day to be outside. With the wind, it felt more like 20 than 30 though by now I am virtually impervious to any weather short of pouring rain.

I was looking forward to shooting more of those cool upward views of the pine trees, but the snow made that impossible—water on the lens doesn’t work very well. So I was going to have to improvise today as far as what to shoot. I started with some marginal shots of little twigs against more brush and twigs. There was just not enough there. I waded through some dense brush to try a shot from high on the hill above the woods below, but when I got through the view was dull at best.

This image surprised me. Better than I thought.

So on toward the two little pine groves that are down by the marsh along the trail. I passed on the first one; I’ve been in there a fair amount. At the second one I climbed up off the trail and found some very cool shots. I shot some of the trunks against the snow-dimmed forest behind. I think they might be nice.

The snow was acting like fog and diminishing the background detail while creating more depth in the images. Later, I was walking under a big pine with drooping branches and saw this image shot through the branches to the forest behind. This is the kind of thing that many people walk by. It’s there, but do you notice it? I liked what I saw in the viewfinder a lot. I’m hoping there will be some very interesting images.

I like the asymmetrical balance and the pale woods behind.

From there I just walked out with Jamie and headed home. For some reason, I was feeling tired this morning. I wear heavy boots when there’s snow on the ground or when it’s very cold. They make walking a lot more tiring and when there’s crusty snow on the ground it’s harder yet. The terrain in the woods is quite hilly and I get quite a workout every day. Today I was dragging as I worked up the slope on the way home.

I haven’t mentioned camera gear in a while and I thought I’d tell you that I’ve been using my 24-105mm lens almost exclusively for quite a while now. When I started out, I shot a lot of wider landscape type shots using my wide angle zoom. But for a while now I’ve been shooting tighter stuff and the medium zoom covers that well. I can reach out a ways to shoot a tighter composition or I can pull back to get a fairly wide landscape as well.

I like the dark trunk, but the background might need to be lighter.

Most of my landscape photography in the past was of wide open panoramic landscapes. I used the wide angle a lot for this as it created the kind of dramatic depth I wanted. I was never a fan of tighter compositions, but I’m becoming a big fan these days. I love some of the designs that can be created that way and I like the interesting contrast between foreground and background elements, especially when shot with shallow depth of field or with fog or snow to distance the background.

This is interesting, but maybe a little bit odd with the trees at left out of focus. 

In the woods here I began with wider shots, as was my habit, but there’s not a lot of wide landscape to be had here and most of it is not that interesting. So I’ve gotten tighter and focused on the medium range shots that emphasize design and depth of field. I expect that when things are in bud and flower and the first leaves come out I will shoot some very tight stuff using extension tubes to get very close to the tiny details that will be available in the woods.

I love extension tubes. They’re a dirt cheap way to get really close up details, but I’ll deal with that stuff when I come to it.

Sometimes you think you have a good image–and you don’t.

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