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Friday, December 01, 2006

New-Fallen Snows

Here in Wisconsin we awoke to a beautiful falling snow, the first of the season. The snow's late arrival on the first of the new month reminds me of 2000, when we had 50 inches of snow in the month of December—second highest monthly total on record for this area—and almost none at all during the rest of the winter.

Zander gets treated to an incredibly rare snow day—both the amount and the timing of the snows has to be just right for the schools to close in Wisconsin—and the puppy, who has never experienced snow before, was afraid to go out at first. She kept whimpering and high-tailing it back to the door, and she pooped on the deck (we know what that makes it, arrrrr), which had me out there with the old plastic bag. Later, she snuck out past me when I was taking these pictures and went tearing around delightedly before succumbing to my alpha-dog authority and returning on command.

When I was younger, I would have been out trudging around in a pretty new snowfall like this, camera under my coat or tripod across my shoulder, seeing the snow as a photo-opportunity, and somewhere around here I have a lovely black-and-white 4x5 negative of a setting moon at dawn over Rock Creek Parkway, in Washington, D.C., after an ice storm, a shot I nearly froze my nodal points off to get. There's nothing wrong with exercise, of course, but as the years have passed I've realized that that's just not the kind of photographer I am. I took these from the front door, just before dawn, toasty and warm in robe and slippers.



Blogger Charlie Didrickson said...

Good one Mike. We are getting a bit just now in Chicago.

Love the mood of the pics, and I have some really funny images in my head of your dog staring at you in a robe and slippers with a big smile.

I say let it snow!

10:14 AM  
Blogger Tim Baskerville said...

Well, according to Edward Weston (and I hope he said this!): "Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn't photogenic."

Tim Baskerville

10:41 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

The first snow, beautiful, that throws me right back to childhood and the excitement I felt when I woke up to an unusual silence. It always took a few seconds to figure out what was different and then I would run to the window to take in the unspoiled beauty. Unfortunately, global warming makes snow rare in these here parts (The Netherlands). Let's hope my 4 weeks old son can still wake up to the first snow ones or twice and remember it like I do.

11:03 AM  
Blogger steve said...

Fortunately here in Madison there was no snow day, so I'm able to read the blog


11:08 AM  
Blogger Stacie said...

I really like the first shot - looks like something from a Christmas card. Would've liked to see the puppy pictures in the snow. My full grown Lab thinks that it's ok to poop on the deck when it snows since it all looks white. Bad puppy!

11:29 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

First snowfall for you easterners, maybe. We had snow in the Madison area a couple of weeks ago. Not a lot, but enough to cover the ground.

The rumor in a school district to the east of here a bit (but well to the west of Waukesha) where I student taught a couple of careers ago was that the superintendent only called a snow day if he couldn't get out of his driveway. He owned the local snow plow business, so that district never had snow days.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Tony Rowlett said...

Mornings are my favorite time of the day, especially very early mornings. Interestingly, today in Anchorage we got our first "substantial" snow (several inches) of the year. The look of this morning is so much like your photographs here it's neat. I love the smell of snow.

1:27 PM  
Blogger overnightparking said...

It's the light from the 2 lamps, especially the one behind the house that it does it for me. There's a fine line between sweet and saccharine, for me this is sweet.


1:30 PM  
Blogger John said...

I like the shadows produced by the streetlight and trees - a very nice depiction of the pre-dawn hour. Makes me want to pour myself a cup of coffee and turn the heat up a notch...

6:35 PM  
Blogger William said...

Well, according to Edward Weston (and I hope he said this!): "Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn't photogenic."

Wasn't Weston talking to Ansel Adams when he make that comment?

3:41 PM  
Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I recommend the excellent novel American Gods for a tale of Wisconsin winter.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I like the first picture.
Interesting choice to keep it so dark. I guess you had to force the camera?

1:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"Interesting choice to keep it so dark. I guess you had to force the camera?"

That's pretty much exactly the way the scene looked. The only thing I did was to set the exposure compensation to -2, and then check the histogram after I shot. (It was fine.) The in-camera Anti-Shake let me shoot handheld with decent sharpness (if you look carefully, you can see that the other picture, which was also shot handheld, is a little sharper).


1:06 PM  

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