Woke up to foggy but clearing conditions. Fog had been attacking local flora all night. Results tragic . . . everything coated with a beautiful but deadly cold substance. The covering was fragile, easily dislodged. Thought about going out there and knocking it off of everything, but instead called up Solar Power to do the job. Slower, but less work for me.
Yeah, sounds lame. What can I say; sometimes even the most brilliant of writers comes up with crap. Me? No, not the most brilliant . . . hence the above.
So, a little bit before dawn, and I look out the window, in a northeasterly direction . . .
A pinkish light suffusing the scene, heavy frost visible over everything, and a half inch to one inch of new snow.
. . . and the cloud responsible for the coating beating a hasty retreat from the advancing light.
These were all shot with the Samsung Note II phone through windows . . . the temperature outside was in the teens. There are more photos from the phone than what I will show here; I was testing out different camera apps to see how much of a difference there would be. Conclusion? . . . after pre-processing, a little, but not that anyone would tell from these shots.
You can see all of the photos in the SmugMug Gallery HERE . . . all 260 of them. No, not all from the phone; the vast majority from a ‘proper’ camera.
Here’s a few more shots from different windows . . .
I kept looking outside . . . a real photographer would be out there, camera in hand, tripod deployed, and staring through the viewfinder so as to studiously set up the best possible angle, metering the quickly-changing light to capture the best exposure for showcasing the wonders of the winter scene.
I threw on a long-sleeved shirt, grabbed the phone, and went outside. That’s right . . . not a real photographer. Plus, I just shot the same stuff I had shot a few days before. OK, maybe a few more things.
I came back in . . . dang it was cold out there!
A few more shots from inside the windows . . .
OK, not real UFOs . . . I usually flatten the phone as close to the window’s glass as I can, but for this shot I had to keep it angled . . . those are the reflections from recessed lights in the kitchen.
I put the phone away, and grabbed a coffee . . . but the wintry scenery kept calling at me.
I grabbed the Nikon . . . but decided I would shoot from the comfort of my breakfast nook. I opened the sliding door to the deck just enough so I could half-lean out with the camera.
How can you tell it’s dawn? OK, so, most of the photos are presented in B&W as befits wintry scenes . . . but some work better in color.
The second one is the Sun bathing the foothills (about three or four miles from where I snapped the photo.
Can you tell the difference between the Nikon shots and the Phone shots?
Probably not in this size. Well, if it’s zoomed, you know it’s the Nikon. By the way, the rest are all Nikon shots.
The sun hitting the foothills indicated this might be a neat morning to step outside the front door. I reluctantly ignored breakfast, threw on a hat and scarf, and went outside. The rest of the shots were taken with one of three lenses . . . the Nikon 105 mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma’s 17-50mm f/2.8 zoom, and Nikon’s 70-200mm f/2.8. If interested, go to the SmugMug gallery, pick the information icon (‘i’) from the bottom menu when looking at a single photo, and it will tell you the particulars for the shot.
So, these shots . . . which looks better? Color or B&W?
Here’s the thing . . . remember the Sun bathing the foothills? Well, it went behind Mr. Cloud, turning everything back toward the gray end of the color spectrum. Rather, of the gray-scale spectrum.
Here’s the deal . . . if I present a photo in color, know there is a B&W version in the SmugMug Gallery. The converse is not true. A B&W photo might not have the equivalent color version unless I deemed the color version to be worthwhile.
Notice something about the above shot . . . very heavy frost on the tree. On many surfaces the frost build-up was as much as an inch long.
Not as much on horizontal surfaces . . .
. . . nor on things that are partially sheltered . . .
Most plants that could hold the weight had a lot . . .
Of course, my favorite lawn ornament . . .
Here’s the view from my walkway . . .
Almost all surfaces had at least a little frost . . .
Mind you, I’m not posting all 260 photos . . .although to some it will feel so.
What? The ornament in color? OK, but it looks better later, when the sun did come out.
Here, you did not ask for it, but here’s a closeup of the archway and faux keystone.
OK, time to go visit the aspens and other trees lining my driveway.
Yes, you can click on the photo for a larger version (1280 pixels max for longest dimension) in a new window or tab. But, you know . . . SmugMug . . . full size available.
Anyway, got me a few more interesting shots (at least to me) before heading back in (again, more than shown here).
Once inside I poured myself a cup of hot coffee, and did the sliding window thing again . . .
Well, Melisa kindly reminded me that I’m letting in a whole lot of cold air, and us trying to conserving our natural gas resources and all didn’t make any sense if I was just going to keep the door open.
Hey, said I, why don’t I go back outside? I even sounded excited when I said it.
I grabbed the camera and went somewhere I seldom go when I take photos. Our patio in back. The closeup shots are from furniture we have out there. The others will be evident (i.e tree, fence, branch, etc.)
You might note an absence of bird bath heater . . . we were traveling in December, and I did not feel comfortable leaving the thing out there while we were away. Now I don’t feel like chipping away at the ice. I might yet try to put it out during warmer days, but if the winter continues as is, with alternating days of very warm and cold weather, I might just let it be.
I made the mistake of moving one of the chairs to get a better angle on the frost. As soon as I moved it, all of the frost slid off. I left the other one alone.
Here’s some more of our furniture (these next shots all have both B&W and Color versions in the gallery. I’m showing a mix here).
And here’s a couple of ground-level shots of the back yard . . .
Notice something in those photos . . . of course not; they are in B&W.
The sun decided to stop hiding. I returned to the front of the house (South-facing) . . .
Here’s the thing about the sun in Colorado . . . even with the temperature in the mid-20s, stuff begins to melt. Mind you, my fingers were still numb from the cold, but the frost began to go.
The race was on . . . me against a star.
Yes, that’s the moon there, but I did not notice it when I was shooting these.
These next shots are snow on the aspen branches (the above shots are also aspens). Notice how much better the photos are than those earlier ones, without the sun . . .
In case you’re wondering, here’s a color shot.
I toned down the brightness a bit to show the structure of the snow.
And for them well-grounded readers . . . my drive.
Here’s a few shots of the stonework.
The trick is to get the shot shortly after the sun hits the particular area . . . wait too long, and the frost is gone.
Maybe I should start screening my shots . . .
. . . I crack myself up sometimes.
The chairs in front . . .
. . . more rocks . . .
. . . more lawn ornaments . . .
. . . and the venerable driveway light.
While the frost was rapidly getting burned off from the stones and metal surfaces, not so for the trees . . . although they too would soon be free of their white mantle.
My young Blue Spruce seemed particularly ladden . . .
. . . as did the young pine . . .
. . . but the fence didn’t care.
OK, OK! . . . one more of the fiery planet ornament.
Remember I mentioned the moon . . . I did notice when I had my telephoto out . . .
. . . but I could not get the two in focus without going to a high ISO, lowering the speed below what I needed for a steady shot.
I could have gotten the tripod, OR . . . take two shots and blend them in Photoshop . . .
. . . hmm . . . maybe in B&W . . .
. . . of course, you can’t tell the moon is in focus, but I know.
The telephoto zoom is great for looking at high-up branches . . .
. . . and for panoramas of Bald Mountain.
Wait . . . the previous shot, at the base of the tree . . . that’s snow falling from the branches. I went back in the house, and stood outside on the deck trying to catch snow droppings.
OK, here’s my tale of woe . . . and an indication how obstinate I can be, even when there’s nothing to be gained. Look at this next shot.
Yes, snow falling on the right, but on the left, about a third of the way down from the top, a branch heavy with snow.
It’s useless trying to catch something already happening somewhere else . . . gravity is a mean bitch; that snow falls faster than I can react to it.
So, here was the plan. Sit there, camera supported by the crook of my arm, eye to the viewfinder, finger on the shutter release, and the shutter set at maximum; a slight tap of the shutter button, and three four shots are taken . . . more if I hold the button down.
Notice anything about these next shots?
The surrounding branches are more than willing to let go of their load, but not the one branch I focused on . . .
I hoped a bird would come and land on it, so as to shake the snow off. It picked a different branch.
A breeze came up, and while it made being outside very uncomfortable (I was in the shade), I was hopeful the breeze-generated swaying would have the branch release the snow in an amazing cascade of powdery magnificence . . .
In a very anticlimactic and frustrating moment, only a few pieces came off . . . the branch had won our battle of wills . . .
After nearly an hour and almost 200 photos (whenever something looked like it might let go, I would shoot a short two-three photos burst) — the majority of which I scrapped — I had little to show for it.
. . . and, if you made it here, so do you.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.