Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Working Winter's Opportunities

The central Adirondacks had received feet of lake effect snow this winter, but a warming trend a couple of days before our annual winter workshop had melted it from the trees and reduced the snow on the ground to a few inches.  Still, the lakes and ponds were covered with upwards of 12 inches of ice.  I've learned that different weather conditions create photographic opportunities that aren't available otherwise.  It's one of the major points I stressed as I went into great detail on strategies, tips and techniques specific to photographing winter under varying conditions.  I covered how to shoot big snows, extreme ice and blowing snow.  And I discussed shooting winter throughout the day and into the night — a wide variety of field craft and processing information participants could use the rest of the winter at home and in their travels.

Each time we ventured out we found something worthy of photographing.  Now the rivers and streams were open and spectacular ice formations along the banks were revealed. We were also fortunate to have three starry nights, despite forecasts for poor stargazing conditions over our entire stay (I've learned not to let weather forecasts psych you out of your plans here).  The Milky Way — even with much of the ecliptic below the horizon —arched brightly over the blue ice of Fourth and Moss Lakes. Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn shone brightly. Several meteors streaked by. Shooting the Adirondack winter at night is truly an unforgettable experience.

Many thanks to the hearty photographers who join me.  I'm inspired by your creativity and enthusiasm, and we all came away with a renewed appreciation for winter in the North Country. I look forward to being with you again soon.

Mark Bowie