View Full Version : Snow, Bench, Bush and Tree

David Stephens
04-04-2014, 11:46 AM

I woke up yesterday to a 6-inch, heavy, wet, soggy snow and decided to take some pics before going to work. There was fog out on the lake and I was able to get a shot without big, OOF snowflakes in the foreground, as suggested on BPN. (Thanks).

Canon 7D, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS at 70mm, Av Mode, ISO 800, +2/3EV, resulting in 1/160-sec., hand held, with Raw conversion in DxO Optics Pro 9.1.

The B&W emulation is Rollei Ortho™ 25.

Grady Weed
04-04-2014, 07:03 PM

If I may...it is very difficult to convey emotion when we are feeling something about an image. For example...your wind driven snow image here. I love cold, winters grip, wind driven, icy bone chilling images that depict a sense of bitter cold and the challenge of living amongst it. I've taken some of the South Portland headlight, snow fields, etc. I wanted to convey a sense of intense cold and harsh conditions. I assume you are trying to do that here. Is that correct? If so, you have, but it is lacking a sense of point of interest. May I ask what you wanted to convey? Where were you looking or at what?

This is an image that, for me anyway, gives that sense I was referring to. Am I on the right track here? Please let me know.

Grady Weed
04-04-2014, 07:04 PM
Or perhaps maybe this image? I don't mean to hijack your thread, just trying to help out.

David Stephens
04-04-2014, 08:27 PM
No Grady, as always, thanks for you sincere effort.

Your second image conveys extreme cold and discomfort to me because is shows the wind element, with extreme humidity, combined with very cold, bringing back very uncomfortable memories. ;-(

What was I trying to convey? (Thanks for making me think about it after the fact). I was trying to capture a heavy, sloppy, wet snow. For us in Colorado, a 31-degree snow is not all that cold. People were wearing flip-flops by the afternoon, really. This snow was heavy on the trees and melting almost as fast as it fell.

Here's a shot taken within a minute two of the subject, just a little different scene:

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7108/13612876385_60b35cac36_b.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dcstep/13612876385/)

Am I getting my message across? Thanks for a great question.

Picnic Shelter In Heavy Snow (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dcstep/13612876385/) by dcstep (https://www.flickr.com/people/dcstep/), on Flickr

Grady Weed
04-04-2014, 08:32 PM
Now this one has more of a message. A cold empty place devoid of people. A "glad I missed the picnic" feeling.

David Stephens
04-04-2014, 09:14 PM
Now this one has more of a message. A cold empty place devoid of people. A "glad I missed the picnic" feeling.

Thanks Grady. Now, can you tell me what makes the difference for you? Is it more of the tree in the second one and clearly a picnic table. With the first one I thought, "Here's a well used bench, that's not in use" and you see the water and the snow in the first one better.

Don Railton
04-05-2014, 04:48 AM
Hi David
For me the lack of complete tree makes me look for something else to focus on, that would be.. Maybe the meter? Not really what you want to convey I think. I think you need something that occupies a good proportion of the image that is obviously affected by the conditions to tell a story. IMHO the clipped tree makes me look for something else which in the op does not exist. So a long winded way to tell you that I think the op needs a full tree.. And for it to be in an area of the photo that makes it obviously the subject. That my take on the photo anyway, hope it helps..

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Grady Weed
04-05-2014, 08:54 AM
David, In your first post, the angle of view is the first big issue that takes away from your attempt. If you could have shot the image from a bit further back and perhaps to the right or left a great deal more it would have helped all the way around. Heavy snow photographed close up is very difficult to execute well. Unless you have a emotional eye grabber it just is hard to pull off. an eye grabber would be a person who is struggling to move in the snow, the wind is blowing her hat almost off and she is obviously having great difficulty moving about. Or a horse trying to pull a heavy slay in deep snow for another example. It gives the viewer something to latch onto. Your first image is more off a snapshot to show what the cold weather is like where you live. Now you can pull it off, but you needed more elements and a bit more action or emotional appeal to do it.

Your second image is getting closer to the ideas I just explained by showing an empty picnic table in obviously cold and brutal conditions. However it still is too close and it shows once again it lacks a center of interest, heavy wet snow on the branches too close up, the sign is kinda in the way, the railing is peaking out of the snow. If you could have gotten the picnic table more in the open, then it would be of an interest grabber, lonely feeling, no one around. I suspect you were trying to show that, a lonely desolate place, somewhere people should be but can't due to extreme conditions.

Look at my image of the Angry Sea, with some benches. Would you want to be sitting there in this storm? The image says no it is too cold windy and wet. So the idea, to me anyway, comes across in a very loud way! Brrrr. Your getting there, just think of a broader perspective, back a bit from your work. By the way, I went to bed just after my last post yesterday, I was burnt out. Sorry for not replying while you were still online. I would be most happy to talk by phone if you would like. Later this evening would best, I am leaving shortly for most of the day.

Thanks for posting!

Andrew McLachlan
04-05-2014, 09:03 AM
Hi David, Grady nailed my thoughts with his first critique. Your second image is much stronger with a definite point of interest. I find winter to be the hardest season to photograph.

Sent from my SGH-T989D using Tapatalk

David Stephens
04-05-2014, 10:27 PM
Thanks all. You've given me much to think about.

Does no one else see beauty in the snow? I like being out in it, at least when I'm dressed for it and riding around in a car with seat warmers. I wasn't trying to convey harshness. I like living in Colorado and this is part of what I like.

Grady, don't worry about the delay. ;-) I'm used to internet and time-shifted communications. I think it's wonderful that we can go to bed when we feel like it and people around the world may be carrying on a conversation with us.

Morkel Erasmus
04-07-2014, 10:21 AM
Guys, be careful with too many different images posted. Guideline 19 has recently been amended (http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/content.php/3-BirdPhotographers-Net-Guidelines) so I will rule on these as:
Posting a similar image for comparison or for educational purposes is also permitted. :e3

Morkel Erasmus
04-07-2014, 10:22 AM
WRT the image (OP), I don't really find it doing what your stated intention with it was, David.
I like your second post much more in that regard.
I have never shot in conditions like these so suggestions on how to do it "better" might be moot from my perspective. I did value the discussion above.

David Stephens
04-07-2014, 10:32 AM
Thanks Morkel. I wonder if you point of view isn't similar to my Florida friend that don't experience snow regularly (I grew up in Florida). They all said, "Brrr..." when viewing these images. I'm wondering if most warm weather viewers don't automatically think of discomfort when they see snow. I only think of cold discomfort when I see a shot like Grady's second one above, that's taken from a truly wind-whipped perspective in a place that looks uncomfortable.

I don't know, just a thought. I found these shots by driving around with the right clothes on, with the seat warmers on in my car and a window open so that my lenses wouldn't fog. I was looking for birds and animals in the snow, but thought these scenes where relaxing to view. Maybe I have a distorted view of snow. ;-)

Nancy Bell
04-10-2014, 06:09 PM
David, as a landscape neophyte, but a very seasoned Coloradoan (37 years here), I like the heavy snow look. For me the sign grabs the main focus and I don't think that is what you intended. You mentioned the unused bench but much of the bench is obscured by the bush. So, without the sign & without the bush, a image with the forsaken bench and the heavy snow might have conveyed your thoughts more clearly.

Where are you in Colorado? I live 40 miles NW of Ft. Collins and we only had about an inch of that snow.