We live in Austin,Texas. We get to see snow on the Olympics and when we go Skiing in New Mexico or Colorado. But Snow in Austin? Not so much.
Yesterday was a glorious day. Austin received several inches of snow. Two days prior the temperature was in the 70’s. I blame Al Gore.
As a photographer and a Texan, we have to seize rare opportunities. Tuesday was one such opportunity, I posted on Facebook, “Who wants Snow Pictures?”. I got a reply within 10 minutes. Gump and Olivia, some horse friends of my wife, were game so we trekked over to Brushy Creek Park in Cedar Park Texas, an in between meeting spot for us.
My goal was travel light in gear because the snow was occasionally light rain and I didn’t want my gear getting too soaked, so I headed out with my trusty Lastolite Ezybox 24″ and my Orbis Ring Flash. Camera strapped around my neck, I had a hand for each light modifier. Gump and Olivia were willing models, staging a quick snowball fight, and mucking through the mud to get to the prime locations. After my Ezybox toppled twice, Gump and Olivia alternated as VAL’s (voice activated lightstands).
My photography goal at first was Snowing Senior Photos (yes, all caps, it was a main thought). We meandered around the park, using the running trail as a pathway. I was getting some good, some bad, but nothing that I absolutely loved. That is, until we found a sweet spot in the trees with a pathway running away from us. My photography imagery turned to the wood nymphs I have been reading about in the Percy Jackson series (movie? eh, not good). Maybe for its rareness to me, but a good flaky snow just transforms ugly cedar trees into a sweet winter vignette. We finished up the shoot with these fun Girl in the Woods photos.
On the way home, I had to stop off of the toll road onto a sidestreet that dead ended. I had driven past a group of small barn houses in failing condition a 100 times, and decided that because of the snow, today was the day to stop and shoot. I was thinking of my buddy Andy, who jumps fences to get the shot he wants, but I was feeling un-nimble in my snow clothes. The hog wire bottom, barb wire top were daunting to me on this day as the steady flow of cars just feet away were witness to my weakness. Instead, I just used the fence as a compositional element in my frames. I processed the HDR’s by going through Lightroom > Photomatix > Photoshop>Imagenomic>Photoshop.
The sense of urgency and immediacy of yesterday is hard to replicate. The snow that fell was the best snow in this area in 20 years, maybe since 1985. And today? Should be in the 60’s. Grab your camera. Get out the door!