Making the Most of Cloudy Snowy Days

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© Paul Mozell

Heavy Fresh SnowThe first snowfall in Massachusetts is exciting for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the return of great outdoor photography opportunities after stark and wet November weather. Combining my photography with snowshoeing and cross-country skiing makes this a wonderful season. But, the challenge for many photographers is how to uncover, and expose great compositions in the snow. This will be the first of a series of articles that will address shooting techniques, carrying and caring for your equipment in cold weather, and how to dress yourself for a long and comfortable day outdoors.

Winter forces me to return to my roots as a black & white photographer the crutch of bright colors is usually not available. I welcome the simplicity and the challenge of finding compositions that rely on strong graphic elements, shadow, and subtlety. On cloudy days like the one in this shot, taken in Massachusetts in mid-December, the flat light allows the detail of the scene to come alive. You might ask: “Why not convert this file to monochrome?” and my answer is, that I like the idea that the viewer must search for the minimal color in the image. It’s a subtle trick that makes you spend more time viewing the photography. But, then again, this doesn’t rule out the black & white conversion.

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