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I had gone out to Lake Winnipeg in the spring to get some shots of cracks and ice ridges that form as the lake thaws. There were some amazing cracks on the lake the year before and I returned to see what I could find and maybe improve on my earlier efforts. But, this time I didn't see any at all, so I started looking around for other compositions to make sure sunset and the hour long drive weren't wasted.
There were snow patterns on the surface that had been sculpted by the wind, but I had to walk around quite a bit to find something that I thought might work well. I found this small "S" curve that was aligned with the setting sun and decided to use a wide angle lens to fill the frame with the curve. My widest lens was the Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III (which is an amazing lens and I have since gotten another even wider Voigtlander), which I stopped down to f/13 to get the depth of field necessary to get front-to-back sharpness. The lens can take round filters but can't take square ones without a special adapter. In this case, since there were no obstructions on the landscape and it remained relative bright, I was able to expose for the highlights and still get a clean RAW file without shadows being too dark. Even though the shutter speed was a hand-holdable 1/40sec, I pretty much always use a tripod. I set it up as low as it could go, filled the frame with the snow curve, and the sky cooperated with some clouds and nice sunset light.
So, even though you may not get to photograph what you go looking for, it's always good to be adaptable when trying to bring home some nice images.