From Light To Dark


Fresh snow and forest. Sterling Mountain. Smugglers Notch Ski Area. Jeffersonville, Vermont.

Finally had a chance after a two-year absence to do some pre-season hiking and snowboarding on Smugglers Notch. The ski area consists of three different mountains and we were hiking on Sterling Mountain which is a stones throw from Mount Mansfield. Other photography pursuits and a terrible Winter last year kept me away but I was glad to get out on this trip as it was a beautiful day with some really great side lighting from the sun.

As this image was shot during pre-season along the sides of the ski trails was a great deal of fresh snow but in the middle were these massive piles of man-made snow from the snow making that takes place to jump-start the natural snow fall. The mounds of snow are quite impressive and they form these huge mountains with steep valley’s on the edges of the ski trails where the natural snow is. Here I was attracted to the deep shadows from the massive snow piles but I was also getting this awesome side lighting from the sun making an interesting transition from light to dark.

I chose to leave the white balance on this one untouched so this image is straight out of the camera with some minor edits. To me the blue cast which was present in the snow really added a touch of clarity to this one. It made me feel cold..something a slightly warmer cast just couldn’t do. I tried several variations but this one seemed the best and most realistic to me. The transition from light to dark was quite sever and I made several exposures to get the best mix of detail in the dark’s as well as nicely exposed highlights.

Image Data: ISO 100. 17mm. F11 @ 1/250. Processed in Lightroom 4. It took me 10 shots to get the balance right here!

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