One of the many things I like about Idaho is that I don’t have to drive hundreds of miles to find great winter time subjects to photograph. I can just walk outside even here in the suburbs of meridian, and inside of a block, in our development, I’ll find all kinds of subjects. Venturing out of my block it’s a winter wonderland!
The key is waiting for a good snow, or even better, freezing fog to occur and then I know I’ll get some great stuff. When I get the freezing fog I’ll usually wait until the sun appears so I’ll get some backlight to make the ice really pop against the background.
Here’s a nice example…
|F7.1 @ 1/500 sec., ISO 200; Lens @ 105mm|
It was almost 11am when I found this small remnant of fall still clinging to a branch. This is just what I look for in freezing fog because I think only getting the ice crystals—just the whites in an image—isn’t as interesting as having some contrasting color especially when I manage to get backlight as in this image.
This was taken a few minutes earlier…
f7.1 @ 1/160 sec., ISO 200; Lens @ 24mm
This weeping willow is just on the other side of our backyard fence—so, I didn’t even have to leave my backyard! That marvelous backlight is what attracted me to this scene.
Without backlight I’ll go for a soft look….
f8.0 @ 1/250 sec., ISO 400; lens @ 105mm
This is that same weeping willow tree in freezing fog, but while it still had some leaves so I zeroed in on a nice threesome.
For this next image I had to leave my yard since this evergreen tree was a good 25 yards into the common area on the other side of my fence.
f11.0 @ 1/125 sec., ISO 400; Lens @ 85mm
Everything looks great in freezing fog crystals—even evergreen trees!
Near the end of my block a neighbor had built a nice large snowman…
f5.6 @ 1/400 sec., ISO 200; Lens @ 105mm
This snowman was almost 6 feet tall and massive in build. I liked his use of tools for the snowman’s appendages.
You may have noticed that I use pretty small apertures (e.g. f7.1 and f8.0) when doing much of my artistic nature photography. That’s because I want my entire subject to be sharp! You’ll also notice that even with those small apertures my backgrounds are still nicely Out-Of-Focus. That’s because I pick subjects that have more Distant backgrounds and I use the most telephoto I can employ. Too many photographers think that they must use wide apertures (like f2.8 or even wider) to isolate their subjects or create good bokeh, but it’s not necessary. They usually just end up with almost nothing sharp in their images.
Questions are always welcome…the more questions you ask the better I can choose subjects to right about. ’Til next week…
Author: Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer, Craftsman
Training site: http://www.LightAtTheEdge.com
Client Site: http://www.TheStorytellersUsa.com