The Extent of My Winter Photo Excursions So Far

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Stories & Expeditions, Updates & Opportunities | 0 comments

I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to take some snow pictures this year! Last winter, I wasn’t able to take very many, so it’s nice that we’ve had a nice snowfall or two this season so far.

Back in January, we had a little snowfall that was more than just a flurry. I didn’t plan to go photograph it because it didn’t stick to the trees, but when I saw the sunrise from my office, I ran out in my slippers to snap this photo on my street!

240118_James Staddon_9615 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 20 mm, 1-40 sec at f - 5.6, ISO 320

In the middle of January, we had a real snow. It was probably around 8 inches. In the middle of it, while the snow was still blowing, I stopped at the old train depot in town. I was headed to my brother’s house for dinner at blue hour and it happened to be just the perfect time for pictures. I hoped they would save me a plate. Smile

240119_James Staddon_9634 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 16 mm, 2.5 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 50

Pumped about the results of that shoot, I determined to get up early the next morning to photograph during blue hour again! This time, I was going to drive out to west of town to photograph the Salem welcome sign. It was going to be epic! Another great shot to go into a potential Salem, WV, calendar some day!

Well, blue hour was pretty indeed, as I saw it fade away on my way to the sign the next morning. Smile

But I photographed it anyway.

240120_James Staddon_9651 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 30 mm, 0.4 sec at f - 5.6, ISO 400

Determined to still make something of that morning excursion, I set up my camera next to the road and waited in the 10 degree cold for some cars to pass by so I could photograph some light trails. I got the settings all right and waited . . . and waited. Finally, after what seemed like forever, a car decided to come down the road!

240120_James Staddon_9662 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 35 mm, 8.0 sec at f - 22, ISO 50

Oops. I forgot to account for the extra amount of ambient light that the slowly rising sun had added over time to the exposure!

Well, it was getting close to the time I needed to head back home. As I was driving, I decided to stop at one more place. There’s a little side road with a little scenic spot that I’ve taken pictures at before. But never in winter! Maybe it would look pretty with the clouds starting to break up?

The side road wasn’t plowed, so I parked near the main road and hiked down a ways. Nope! The sun was in the wrong place for the scenic spot I was thinking of to look very scenic. “But hey! Look down there. Parallel to the road, there’s a little creek that winds over to a little farm.” I slid down the bank and set up my camera next to the quaint little scene.

240120_James Staddon_9676 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 22 mm, 1-8 sec at f - 11, ISO 50

Got it! I knew I had bagged something good. I could go home!

As easy as it sounds to have captured that last photo, there was actually a whole lot more that went into it than meets the eye. Exposure, camera settings, composition, timing, lighting, editing, establishing mood . . . just to name a few! There are so many different things that go into creating a nice photo. And they all have to be considered for every photo! The photo editing was especially challenging for this one. In fact, I’d love to see if you would be able to do a better edit! Here’s the raw file for you to download and edit yourself if you’d like! And you can then share your edited version here on the Photo Critique Form.

The light trails photo above is a perfect illustration of a situation where I wasn’t considering every factor. I had thought through everything, but just one factor related to lighting turned the whole photo into a perfect failure. That’s why a lot of photos don’t turn out. But the more I learn about each factor that plays into a good photo, the more good ones I am able to take! It’s so much fun to always be learning.

Which brings me to a question I wanted to ask in connection with something special happening over the next week. Would you like to learn some of the things that I have learned in photography over the past 15 years? My three latest photography courses, Mastering Composition, The Secret to Photo Editing, and How to Share Your Photos With The World are all in a bundle sale right now. All 3 for the price of 1! Get more details about each course and all the particulars about the sale here at this link. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to learn from my experience on how to compose photos well, edit them to perfection, and get them off your computer, shared with the world!

Courses Bundle 2024

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