Surprise! Late Winter Storm Pounds the East Coast

Snowy Tree, originally uploaded by Miracle Man.

Twenty-eight days ago, a rather large rodent was forced out of his box, a simulated hole somewhere in the heartland of Pennsylvania and because some humans saw their shadow, it was decreed “Six More Weeks of Winter”.

For those doing the math, that means winter through March 15th, amazingly there is still a week of “Winter” left after March 15th given the Spring Solstice turns our planet colorful on March 21st.

So we shouldn’t be surprised when we are still dealing with cold gray days during the first part of March. But still, it is very rare for a late snow fall in particular in areas that rarely get snow at all. And with much surprise, the south-east United States and the east coast awoke today to this wet white stuff.

Despite the travel problems this caused to many people (my own son’s hockey team was returning from Atlanta to Virginia yesterday in what should have been a nine hour trip, took 26 hours!!!) snow, in particular in areas that rarely get it is a great opportunity for photographers to get out and try and capture some beauty.

Today, I packed my camera to work with plans to shoot during my lunch walk. Well due to everyone staying off the road, I arrived at work extra early, so I headed out to shoot some photos around my office complex before I went to work.

While I didn’t get anything spectacular, given that I’m bad at landscapes, I think a few shots turned out okay. Many of my photography friends turned out some excellent photos today as well.

Anyway, to make this somewhat educational, shooting in snow is tough. First all the white tends to fool camera meters. If the skies are overcast, it doesn’t give a lot of separation between the sky and the terrain . And of course, early in the morning, there isn’t a lot of light to begin with and that means not a lot of color.

To solve exposure problems, you can dial in some over exposure, somewhere between 1.0 to 0.7 EV if your camera doesn’t recognize snow scenes. This is also a good time to bracket shots as well in particular if you want to play with HDR.

Digital photography when dealing with whites is hard because to get bright whites means pushing the limit of blowing out the whites. Its generally better to let the photos underexpose a bit and then fix it in post production.

If your lucky to get some blue skies and sun to add to your snow, you can capture some great photos. But if you’re stuck with gray overcast skies, it might be a good opportunity to consider Black and White.

So get out, shoot and have fun!

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