Forest Retreat


Snow covered riverbed and forest in Underhill, Vermont.

Snow covered riverbed and forest in Underhill, Vermont.

Sometimes you have to go a bit further afield to find some good snow and this time I hit the jackpot. It’s just plain too warm in Burlington and close to Lake Champlain and our minimal snow and ice is disappearing rapidly. However there is plenty of snow to be had in the mountains with plenty of photo ops but finding fresh snow that isn’t compacted from the warming temps is a bit of a challenge too! This location and river is about 30 minutes from my home and sits at the base of Mount Mansfield.

I have hiked along this river countless times but in the Winter it takes on its own special look especially when there are open areas of water surrounded by snow. When I got to this river I was surprised because the snow around it was untouched….No footprints or ski tracks. Challenge number one was getting into position to make my shots as the “snow” I am standing on and that you can see in the image is actually ice from the river covered in snow. With the warm temps this ice becomes very weak and I did break through in spots on my hike.

The second challenge was the very flat and overcast light. With this type of light it renders a really flat raw file with not much contrast in the snow. I had to shoot several test images to find my exposure which was a choice…blow out the highlights in the snow or shoot a good histogram and bring out the detail in processing. While the raw file showed pretty much a white blob of snow a small amount of processing brought out a ton of detail in the snow and this image turned out to be a really nice black and white!

Here is the raw file straight out of camera with no edits. Notice the difference!

Raw file with no edits or filters. Finished image was processed in Silver Efex Pro 2.

Raw file with no edits or filters. Finished image was processed in Silver Efex Pro 2.

Image Data: ISO 100. 17mm. F11 @ 1/60. NO Filters.

*You can find me over on G+ here!

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8 thoughts on “Forest Retreat

  1. Wow, what a difference post processing makes! Very well done Andy. I really like how the rocks in the water were brought out, along with the texture of the snow.

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