Well, misery loves company and there's nothing that makes you feel better faster when it's freezing cold, than to receive a letter from a good buddy who lives in Thunder Bay (on the north shore of Lake Superior, home of Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald") - good old northern Ontario - not Oakville wussy -17C (1F), but stupidly cold -42C (-44F) at high noon. So darn cold that the snow squeaks when you walk on it. So cold you almost think twice about sending out your two boys to play in the snow. Her message was short...her sentences were pared down to basic nouns and verbs. "Have cabin fever" "Hibernating for most of the Winter" "Ready to start eating my young" "Tried to send them outside" "Can't move with all their gear piled on."
So, sitting here with turtleneck sweater and short vest, feeling positively southern Ontario tropical at the moment. Figured out a new method to reduce my photos sizes en masse - so I'm fine until the next Windows update.
I'd been looking around various gardens, specifically at things that provide good winter interest. The problem I had was with my digital camera, trying to get a good representation of what things really looked like. When I was shooting black and white film in the dark ages - in order to get as much information on the film when I was shooting snow shots, I'd open up 2 stops more than my light meter suggested - in essence I was overexposing the film, but giving myself something to work with in the darkroom. If I didn't do this the camera would adjust itself to the blinding white snow and make everything else in the shot too dark.
Earlier this week I stumbled upon the "Snow" feature on my Canon PowerShot S80 and wondered if it might hold some of the answers to these too-dark-blue-snow shots. This was taken mid-morning and is a very good representation of what our plowed sidewalk looks like. (1/200 sec 4.0 ap.)
Here's some seed-heads left behind - again not bad, notice how the tones of the photo are warmer than we're used to seeing. Ok, so not bad so far, but there are exceptions - at a local parkette on the snow setting - just too washed out. (1/320 4ap.)
Better on automatic, but the red of the cornus is a bit too purple. (1/500 4.0ap)
Spinning around in the other direction I caught Kevin, again with the snow setting 1/1000 4.0ap.
At the end of the park - there's a little stream - those paw prints belonged to someones dog who looks like they went on a wonderful toot.
Now, here's a quandary - which one is better? (Interesting to see what happens to some ornamental grasses & snow....) (snow 1/160 4.0 ap)
And one more - snow on the yew hedge - yup, that's a yew hedge. Automatic 1/1000 4.0ap
or snow setting 1/640 ap 4.0 - you really can see the texture of the snow in this shot.
And then these shots - this is a really big rock that is about to vanish - first on automatic 1/500