I am embarrassed, because you told me to take good snow pictures, and I just shoveled my driveway. I did take a lot of photos of snow and ice, but few worth sharing. It is not easy to get good snow pictures. Falling snow can be pretty, but mostly it just obscures the scene. And snow is usually so bright that the camera will get confused and try to make the snow gray. Use exposure compensation or a snow scene mode if your camera has such, to keep your snow white.
I spent a lot of time with my Nikon 10-24 wide angle zoom lens on, this winter, so that I could get shots like the one below. This little brook that runs through Neumann's Shea Garden is dry ornamental stones for 362 days out of the year. But I have been keeping my eye on it. When I saw it running fresh, I spread my tarp and got the camera as close to the stream as I could. Shea Brook was shot at 1/200, f16, ISO 500, 24 mm focal length. At the narrow f16 aperture the wide angle lens has a huge depth of field, and focusing about a third of the way into the scene ensured that just about everything in view was also in focus.
The wide angle zoom can also focus quite close, and as snow descended on us for another day in February, I shot images of snow laden twigs with the 10-24 wide angle. But the results were uninspiring, both because the lens has a very narrow depth of field at f4.5 and also because I had not composed a picture with much interest. The lens is also probably not as sharp as the 35 mm and 60 mm prime (non-zoom) lenses that have become my favorites.
The images here are available for download from my SmugMug gallery, in different sizes, for use as desktop backgrounds. Clicking on any of the images in this blog, however, takes you to the full-resolution image in my ZenFolio gallery, where you can purchase prints, framed and mounted products, T-shirts, mugs and even cutting boards with the images imprinted.
I had visited and photographed the abandoned Chester Creek Branch line railroad tracks in the early winter, but I was eager to get back after a fresh snow, when the landscape might be softened and the rails enhanced.
To get images as sharp as possible I used the 35 mm prime lens. The township and local groups are in the process of turning some of the line into a hiking trail, and trees that had fallen across the tracks had already been cleared up on this, my second visit.
The image below is part of a panorama, made from five exposures with the camera held vertically, and stitched together in Photoshop CC. Chester Creek Branch Line was shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 500 at 35 mm.
Sun was shining on the trees in the background, and the mixture of yellows on the trees, blue in the sky and reflected off the snow, and browns and grays in the trees made for an image with too much going on.Changing it to black and white with a sepia tint has made the scene simpler and more understandable.
Maple Buds on a sugar or silver maple on St. John Neumann circle at Neumann University. Shot with the 60 mm (prime) macro lens at 1/640, f11, ISO 400, seven exposures at slightly different depths of focus were combined in Photoshop CC to create the final image.
And finally we get to spring! The crocus are wonderful with their built-in antifreeze. You can find an image with snow (Snow Crocus) in the gallery. But I was so glad to see the crocus fully out and open, spreading its flower to the sun and probably some pollinator. I used focus stacking again, for Late Spring 2014, since the flower was quite deep, and one exposure would have captured only a part of the petals in focus. Ten images were shot at 1/250th, f11, ISO 1600 with the 60 mm prime. To reduce visual confusion, the leaf litter in the background was set to black and white with just a hint of color and a slight Gaussian blur.
Love to all!