IN THE FIELD: Shadows In The Snow


Early morning or late afternoon is the perfect time for catching some great shadows in the snow.

I took this photo in the early morning using a custom in-camera B&W mode. I chose B&W because I liked the stark contrast of the tree trunks against the softness of the snow.

Another reason I didn’t shoot this in color was due to the deep blue shadows from the early morning light. Even though the scene is a cold visual, I didn’t want to show it as any colder.

When shooting in color, there are times when the snow is that blue from the light and shadows, it can be difficult to expose the snow as white without overexposing the whole scene and losing detail.

Of course there is always the post processing route to fix things, but I would rather get it right in camera rather than spend time adjusting the image on the computer. I suppose I’m from the old school in my way of thinking. Plus, I would rather be out shooting photographs.

There is still about two feet of snow on the ground with more on the way late tonight. This certainly has been a long snowy winter this year. It reminds me of when we were kids and the ground would be white for months.

f 8


ISO 100

cloudy WB

  1. February 17, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Great shot but PLEASE make it stop! Enough! Too much!

    • February 17, 2014 at 9:22 am

      It does seem like it is never ending this year!

  2. February 17, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Excellent shots, David!

  3. February 17, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Nicely done David!!!

  4. February 17, 2014 at 10:37 am

    WOW you did get socked in with the snow! We were lucky to be at the bottom end of the storm and got grazed with 6″ and then an inch of ice on top. Hope Mother Nature goes easy on you tonight, tell her you do want to see the daffodils & crocus’ one day real soon! 🙂

    • February 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Yes, we have had our share this year. The ski slopes are loving it! I would love to see spring flowers…they will be here soon enough.

  5. February 17, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I’ve taken a number of these in my back yard this winter, too. I always debate whether to leave them in color or convert them to b&w. Sometimes I go one way and sometimes the other. If you figure out how to “make it stop,” please let me know! Your snow tonight is coming our way tomorrow.

    • February 17, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      I do the same thing. In fact I often take the shot in color and then switch to B&W. Sometimes one version works better than the other. I’ll see what I can do about the storm tonight. I also heard the coast of Maine got dumped on this year. I know it snows there, but usually in smaller amounts.

      • February 17, 2014 at 1:44 pm

        And usually not so frequently!

  6. February 17, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I didn’t realize it was B&W until you told us. It’s true, I’ve often ended up with snow scenes that are too blue, so now I know what to do (to the blue, thanks to you, Yahoo!)

    • February 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      You’re a poet and you know it. Must be because of your feet…they’re longfellows. With snow scenes, if you over expose by one to two stops you can usually eliminate the blue color cast without losing too much detail in the snow. Wasn’t the case with this shot. Or you can just leave the blue and emphasize the cold!

  7. February 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I love this photo, David! Really lovely tones with an abstract feel. I am sure you must have seen enough snow by now! What an extreme winter we are all having.

    • February 18, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks Jo, this is one of my fav’s for winter scenics. I haven’t seen snow stick around for this long since the 60’s and 70’s (when we were kids sledding and skiing). Even the storms we had back in Feb of 2010 (56 inches in one week) didn’t hang around this long! When I hear folks complain about the snow I remind them “yeah, this is just like when we were kids” and they seem to remember that it isn’t so bad after all.

  8. LB
    February 18, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    I too love the contrast … and I never tire of seeing shadows! We’ve had some decent melt today, so only 8 inches on the ground.

    • February 20, 2014 at 8:42 am

      We’ve had a lot of contrast this winter…almost two months worth! There is still about 15 inches on the ground here, but it is supposed to warm up to spring like temps today and tomorrow!

  9. February 19, 2014 at 4:16 am

    I didn’t see what you saw, at first. I simply saw what was to me a very common scene during winter. And I was about to close the tab, but then I glanced at the title of your post and I took a second look. Thank you for showing me beauty and the delicate feeling in something I never thought twice about. I like the b&w, it does as you say give it more warmth, and quite a lot more, than the hint of blue would. Good job!

    • February 20, 2014 at 8:45 am

      Thanks Anne for the great comment. It’s funny how some things that we see constantly get forgotten. Happens to me often so I stop and take a few moments to see again. Glad I was able to remind you.

  10. February 19, 2014 at 10:05 am

    OOh – love those strong monochrome lines. Very n’ice!

    • February 20, 2014 at 8:47 am

      Thanks Meanderer, I felt it was a strong scene I just had to preserve.

  11. February 19, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Love your photo….it is a great shot of contrasts. We just returned home from Florida during a snowstorm last night. Nature doesn’t seem to know anything about a dusting of snow, almost another foot of snow on top of the three or four feet in just the last two weeks.

    • February 20, 2014 at 8:48 am

      It sure has been a winter like we haven’t seen for quite some time. It’s nice to see the world in a blanket of white. I hope that mother nature doesn’t do the exact opposite this summer!

  12. February 23, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for the tip an what a great picture! You are so right, it’s so much nicer to get a shot right with your camera, than spend ages fixing it 🙂 Is that how much snow you have at the moment? 🙂 very nice 🙂

    • February 24, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Thanks Kristina, Getting it right the first time is probably due to spending so many years shooting film, you had to get it right the first time. Plus, it’s way more fun taking photos than fixing them. We still have a lot of snow here…about a foot or so since some of it has melted. It’s certainly been a white winter this year!

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