Well, This Didn’t Turn Out Right: Snow Photo Fail

Today, we had a rare snow day in Georgia.  And, as usual, everyone overreacted a bit and the world shut down, which means I am at home with the wife and kids. But, I’m not going to complain about not having to work and will never complain about hanging out with my family. This means I am going to take photos!

So, donned my cold-weather gear, grabbed my camera, and headed out for a long winter’s hike (it was only about 50 meters).

I photographed a creek last summer near my home and used ND filters for the first time.  It was quite a learning experience for me using both the filters and editing them in Apple Photos (I did not have Adobe Creative Cloud yet).

I have been thinking that it would be fun to re-shoot the little creek if it snowed. So, that is where I headed with my gear.

On my way, down the hill to the creek, I noticed a cool tree in a neighbor’s year.  I stopped and composed the picture. Before I snapped the pictured, I check my setup and the meter clearly indicated a shutter speed of 1/80 – plenty of speed for the f/stop and ISO 800.  When I edited the photo, however, the photo was blurry! I checked the data in Lightroom, and it clearly indicates a shutter speed of 1/20.  I was looking forward to this photo the most.  Very disappointing.  If any of you knuckleheads out there have any ideas, let me know in the comment section below!

2018 Snow Day-8135

I trudged through the snow to the creek and set the tripod up in the middle of the creek. Before I let the house, I went ahead and mounted my camera on my tripod. I set the ISO to 100 (I had to reset it to 100 after the tree photo fail), set to bracketed exposure, and set to AV mode on f/14. The white balance was set to cloudy.

I composed and took three different bracketed shots at different places along the creek. I noticed several things while I was shooting.  First, there was a lot less water than when I shot last summer, which meant there was not a lot of contrast between the water and the background. The water was almost clear against the mossy background of the rocks. So, the water looked all but invisible with the long exposure.

Second, I needed a wider-angle lens for this shot. My 18mm was not wide enough to capture the landscape, which surprised me because it normally is all I need.  I would have liked to get closer to 10mm for this shot.  I turned the camera to a portrait orientation to pick up more of the depth in the scene, but it still wasn’t what I was looking for.

While editing, I was not happy at all with the outcome of my three bracketed sets. As I reflect on the images, the light just wasn’t what I needed for what I wanted. The light was diffuse because of the overcast skies and the shade provided by the tall white pines around the creek.

To overcome a disappointing shoot, I took my own advise, and I converted my photos to black and white in Adobe Lightroom.  These finished a little more appealing, but overall it was not the outcome I wanted.

I welcome any constructive advice in the comment section!

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