IN THE FIELD: The First One

We awoke this morning to the first snowfall of the season. As I am writing this, it is still snowing with predicted accumulations of one to three inches. We have those amounts already, even though the weather forecasters mentioned the snow is supposed to continue through the day. Later today the snow is expected to turn to light rain and the temperatures should fall closer to freezing. Winter has arrived.

I took these two shots looking out from our deck about 9:00 am this morning. Both photos were taken within seconds of each other, and from the same vantage point.

I wanted to illustrate the difference between a vertical composition and a horizontal composition of the same subject.

Some compositions work better in one format versus the other. That is why I almost always take a vertical shot after taking a horizontal. Neither version is correct or incorrect, but more of a personal preference.Β Due to the constraints Β within WordPress, click on the photos to see the full effect.

I also over exposed each photograph by one stop. Had I followed what the exposure meter recommended, the snow would appear grey rather than white. I probably could have over-exposed the shots by an additional stop to brighten the snow even more, but then I would have lost detail in the tree trunks. Photography can be full of compromises.

Photo specs are, ISO 200, White Balance-cloudy, f3.5, @ 1/200th, manual mode.

  1. November 27, 2012 at 10:14 am

    You are right, David, about it being about compromises. But you done well on these exposures. I think I like the vertical, myself. I accentuates the tallness of the trees. But that’s my opinion. πŸ™‚

    • November 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

      I have to agree with you Bob, I like the vertical shot with this composition also πŸ˜€

  2. November 27, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Wow, snow already eh? We had a few dusting this morning, but they’ve all melted by the time I left the house.

    You’re right, David. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to take this shot, it all depends on personal preference. I like them both, the first image works to emphasize how wide the area is, and the vertical one works great to emphasize how tall the trees are.

    • November 28, 2012 at 9:29 am

      We live up on a ridge or what the locals call a mountain…it’s not really a mountain, it’s just one of the highest places in the county LOL. Anyway, we always get more weather than anywhere else…and we did! The valley below got an inch or two and we got 3 or 4 inches. I find that shooting in both orientations will give two, often completely different viewpoints. You never know until you see the photo on the big screen.

  3. November 27, 2012 at 11:22 am


    • November 28, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Thanks Nia, it still is like a winter wonderland outside…at least for a few more hours until the sun melts the snow from the tree branches.

  4. Jo Woolf
    November 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    These are both absolutely beautiful – just magical. I can’t make up my mind which one I prefer. I think you notice the delicate layers of branches more in the horizontal pic, but the vertical one leaves you more in awe. Perhaps it’s the difference between walking into the photo, and flying?!

    • November 28, 2012 at 9:35 am

      Ya know…I have changed my mind several times after viewing these shots. I like the horizontal for the expansiveness, and the vertical shot for the drama/height of the trees. They are probably about 60 feet tall or so!

  5. November 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    How pretty! I love both images but maybe prefer the vertical one a little more. Keep warm!

    • November 28, 2012 at 9:38 am

      It sure was/is. There is still a small amount of snow on the trees and it’s so calming to view out the studio window. This is one of those instances that makes it hard for me decide my preference. It seems to change by the minute LOL. It will be a bit chilly tonight…22 degrees F. Brrrrrr

  6. November 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I often take a photo in both vertical and horizontal and am surprised by the results. In this case, I like the pattern created by the snow on the branches in the second one, perhaps because it appears closer..Though I sometimes dread winter, I am always happy with its beauty and find getting involved with it via skating and skiing makes all the difference.

    • November 28, 2012 at 9:41 am

      It sure is pretty when it snows! Then there is the shoveling etc, but as you said, playing outside in the winter can be a heck of a lot of fun! I too am surprised at the difference between vertical and horizontal…especially after viewing on the computer screen!

  7. November 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    It skipped right over us and I am very happy it did!!!! Makes me want to sit in front of a fire with some mulled wine πŸ™‚

    • November 28, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Wow it did?? I saw on the radar that it was heading your way. I like your idea of sitting in front of a fire with something warm to sip on. Mulled wine would certainly fit the bill nicely. Plus a fluffy blankey!

      • November 28, 2012 at 9:48 am

        I have one of those snuggie type things from Brookstone…LOVE it!

  8. November 28, 2012 at 1:36 am

    These are so delicate! But you can have the snow, I am not ready for it yet.

    • November 28, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Thanks Ehpem, as much as I like the snow, it was a bit of a surprise…kinda like the big storm we had in October last year! But it sure is pretty out there!

  9. November 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Both are nice but I prefer the vertical myself. There is something majestic about those tall trees outlined in snow that I just love. I laughed at your comment about a “fluffy blankey” above. That’s one of my favorite winter comforts, too! πŸ™‚

  10. November 29, 2012 at 8:43 am

    It seems my preference changes from day to day…this morning I prefer the vertical. I feel it works better with the tall trees. We’ll see what tomorrow brings…
    Our favorite blankeys are from Guilfords Eastport Woolen Mill which used to be in Eastport Maine. They have been closed for several years now, but I will never forget going to the mill and picking them out. They are the greatest, softest, coziest, wool blankets ever!

  11. November 30, 2012 at 9:51 am

    awww I love snow πŸ™‚ But i don’t like to be cold πŸ™‚ Why can’t it snow and be at least +15 at the same time πŸ™‚ no snow here yet, but it’s been a very cold morning. Snow is expected back home and I am hoping for white Christmas in my hometown, but I am hoping it won’t be -15-20 πŸ™‚

  12. December 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Yikes -15 or -20!!! That is certainly on the chilly side! I heard it said once that there is no such thing as bad weather…it’s bad clothing!!! (heard this on a local radio station in Minnesota while on vacation) When you think about it…it’s true! I hope you have a white Christmas too..your hometown must be quite beautiful in the winter!

  13. December 5, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I didn’t expect the snow to melt so quickly in your northern clime. That’s more what I’d expect of Austin (Texas), where we get a bit of snow on average only once every several years. In any case, I’m glad you had an opportunity for some lovely pictures.

  14. December 5, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Hey Steve! It was short lived down in the valleys below, but stuck around for a few days up here on the higher elevations, or what locals call the mountain. It’s part of the ancient Blue Mountain chain that passes through here, but we call it the hill. 830 feet above sea level. Do you go through snow withdrawal since you are from northern climes?

  15. December 10, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Wow! Loved these. The second photo is so cool. Great textures and patterns. Amazing capture, David.

  16. December 10, 2012 at 5:01 am

    Just realized, my eyes liked the portrait more. Hehehe. πŸ™‚

    • December 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

      Thanks Nandini, I have really enjoyed living here in the woods. They are forever changing and there is always something interesting to look at!

  17. January 3, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Wow, fabulous shots!!!

    • January 3, 2013 at 10:12 am

      Thanks RV, this is the view from our deck we were fortunate to enjoy for seven years…until this weekend…we sold our house and moved to a smaller place closer to civilization LOL. Thanks for stopping by!

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