New Years Day Photo Adventure

'09 Theo Wirth-70

My photo buddy Jason Gallus and I decided to take advantage of the holiday to go out and shoot some local destinations that sometimes get overlooked. Its so much easier to go somewhere else to see something exciting than it is to look in your own backyard it seems. We packed our tripods and lenses and headed off to Theodore Wirth Park in North Minneapolis for our first destination. Theo Wirth Park is a beautiful piece of land in the Northwest part of Minneapolis on the border with Golden Valley. It has a lake, some ponds, marsh areas, bird and wildflower sanctuary, as well as lovely hiking trails that turn to cross country ski trails in the winter time. All this is tucked away like a wilderness oasis in the heart of the city with neighborhoods backed up right against it.

As usual, my first few shots start out rather bland and disjointed, but they are not totally wasted because I’m using these first compositions to study the quality of light to adjust my ISO and get a feel for how I want to use the depth of field to bring out the surroundings. Each landscape plays with light differently and takes me a few minutes to adjust how I use my shutter speed and f-stops depending on the color of the surroundings. Compensating for the brightness of snow  over vast areas is much different than compensating for a bright sunny summer day in a landscape. There are many more considerations to make to will affect the tone of a composition.

I have to admit that I’m still a little snow shy and I’m using these winter photo adventures to get used to the way snow changes light in the landscape.

We headed off to Minnehaha Falls next to see what things were like there. Even though the place was covered in tourists, we were able to get down to the bottom of the falls without too much trouble. I also took a risk and climbed up the frozen ice flow to get behind the falls themselves. I’m very happy that I did because I got some great shots of the frozen falls from behind. It was getting later in the day for available light, but we were both successful in getting some great shots before we called it a day. We both plan on going back at a better time of day to take advantage of better lighting conditions. And I have plans on trying to do some night photography at the falls, but will have to consider my timing carefully so that its not too cold and try to keep the cloud cover in mind so that I have at least some moonlight to work by. I’ll be sure to post any photos I do from such a shoot.

 

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