Winter photography is something that I look forward to after the chaotic but wonderful colours that dress the landscape during Autumn.
I live in the mountain area of the pre Dolomites where we can have abundant snowfalls that create magical landscape moments. Our area of Italy as with most of the world has been hit with climate change and this area that has always had plenty of snow has passed quite a few years with nothing. This has affected tourism that is based on winter sports and photographically has meant me moving up into the Dolomite area for snow filled landscapes or changing direction and heading towards Venice which is also near home and offers equally magical moments during the colder months.
This shot that I took with virtually zero carbon footprint is a couple of hundred metres away from my home and situated in a meadow.
I was out photographing with a friend and while it is almost automatic for me to photograph the grand landscapes that I am fortunate to be surrounded with, this little “Christmas” tree attracted me in its simplicity.
What I particularly liked was the way the soft morning light fell on the pine tree, and the resulting shadows in the waves of snow that had fallen during the night. My eyes also caught the small tree and rural fence in the top left background and I think that could make a good subject on its own once fresh snow falls again.
I know that it is difficult to photograph snow as the huge areas of white pose a challenge with white balance. What I tend to do is expose to the right adding about 1 stop to keep the snow as white as possible, checking my histogram to avoid blown highlights. I also like to keep my ISO set at 100 and I always use a tripod. I also find it best to go out early so that the snow is clean and without any tracks visible.
A walk in fresh snow is a wonderful experience and whether one is a photographer or not, it brings an incredible sense of peace in the silence that is often found after freshly fallen snow.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor