It’s Not cold Enough to Freeze Liquor Yet…..

'08 NorthShore-7









So Minnesota, and the nation, has been feeling the cold pinch of winter much sooner than in the past decade and experiencing record snow falls. As a former Texan (grew up there, but never sure when I am supposed to stop calling myself one) I am still fascinated when it snows. Its so beautiful and quieting to watch, and now that I have a 4-wheel drive truck { insert grunt here } its a fun adventure to drive in. The only thing I haven’t got used to is being out in the cold comfortably for extended periods of time. My fingers and toes just freeze up too quickly.

As a photographer, I see all the snow as a beautiful alternate universe to photograph in, but it can be such a challenge to go out and endure the frigid temperatures and mechanical issues  to capture any decent photos. Ever since the snow started falling, I’ve been scheming for ways to take advantage of the cold weather this year and to make an excuse for myself to go out photographing. Thus i’ve come up with two assignments thus far…..

Photo Assignment 1:

Over Christmas day I will be traveling with my good friend Andy Birkey up to Duluth MN for a photo adventure along the North Shore. We will be packing two digital SLR’s, plenty of batteries, some video cameras, snow boots, heavy jackets, gloves, scarfs and hand/feet warmers (those inventions are genius), as well as some tripods and “determination”. My goal is to photograph some beautiful winterscapes to add to my portfolio, as well as gett’n some good learning experiences under my belt. I’m realistic and realize something will not go my way on this trip, but its my hope that by doing this assignment I will learn what to do, or not to do, the next time I go out in cold. I can have all the talent in the world taking photographs and composing things, but remembering that cold weather zaps the juice out of batteries more quickly, and knowing how to deal with condensation on plastics and metals can prevent me from screwing up an entire days worth of shooting. I have to admit that I’m also going on this adventure cause I’m tired of seeing everyone else’s photographs of the frozen winterscapes along the North Shore and wishing in the back of my head that I had such beautiful photographs as well. Now I wont have any more excuse for not having my own set of winterscapes.

Photo Assignment 2:

I had heard a myth when I first moved to Minnesota, that when the temperatures fall below -10* you can take a glass of water outside, throw it up in the air, and it will instantly turn to ice/snow before it hits the ground. So, my second assignment will be to capture this freezing in mid-air process. I’ll have to wait for the next cold snap of negative temperatures to do this, but I am sure I wont have to wait long. I’ll set up my camera on a tripod with a remote release, maybe place a piece of glass in front of the camera to prevent water “blowback”, and then i’ll just throw water up in the air and try to capture it in motion as it falls. If nothing else, I’m assuming that i’ll get some nifty abstract captures from this experiment, but it will be a bonus if i can capture the water in some sort of transitional state. I’m also considering doing this shoot twice; once during the day and once at night with some sort of flash or illumination.

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