Just this December, I was in Wyoming to lead my final workshop of the year in Grand Teton National Park. Prior to any workshop, I spend a few days scouting different locations to judge conditions and viability as a location to bring my folks. Plus, it's an excellent way to get out and see the landscape and be in it before the group arrives and I have to get to work.
I love photographing in the winter! With the right clothes and gear, it's not a challenge or a chore to be out in temps at or below zero. The way the winter landscape transforms with a blanket of snow is fantastic, and features that you would easily pass by are suddenly points of interest with a blanket of snow over them. From the grand landscapes to the subtle textures of snow drifts or divots in the landscape, the experience of photographing in the winter is so different from any other season.
On this particular day, I explored a road at the north end of the Park, driving slowly along, not in a rush or hurry to any specific destination. I had scouted most of the locations I meant to go to on this day. As I drove, I was open and receptive to patterns/shapes/textures alongside the road as I slowly drove by. I noticed this curving tree and thought it was exciting and could make a nice shot. I headed to the end of the road and turned around, looking for that curved tree. I found it and got my gloves and gear out to begin working on photographing it. The tree was 20+ feet away from the road, and the snow was at least 4 feet deep, so I knew I should probably stay on the road, which had a somewhat stable surface. I put on my medium telephoto lens and worked on composing a shot.
Since what attracted me was the curve of the tree trunk, I wanted to isolate this feature and make the image about this curve, not necessarily about the whole tree. In fact, the rest of the tree was kind of boring and ugly. I took several images of the curve from different angles and, in the end, settled on this one as I felt it best highlighted the curving aspect I wanted to capture.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor