Snow in the central Arizona valleys is not a very common event, often years between snowstorms, but the desert landscape is transformed into a winter wonderland when it happens. The chaos of the forests, river banks and desert is muted. Instead, the land takes on the simpler forms and shapes of the underlying bushes, trees and rocks.
Often the snow in our area consists of only a dusting, lasting but a few hours once the sun rises. This morning, however, was different. A wet winter storm passed through the night before dropping anywhere from 4-6” of snow overnight. In the murky light of predawn, it seemed as if a full moon was illuminating the land. Looking to the sky, though, revealed a sky of low, dark clouds. Only slowly did it dawn on me that the whiteness of the land outside was not due to the moon, but rather it was snow reflecting the weak light of dawn.
With each passing moment, the snow-draped landscape was being revealed. Trees, whose leafless branches only hours before revealed their structures, were now rendered only as larger shapes. The trunks of each tree, which only the day before was mixed in with the wild patterns of their bare branches, now became more prominent when contrasted with the brightness of the snow. The cliffs lining this part of the river, usually a light tan colour, took on a darker, warmer tone as they formed the background for the whiteness of the snow. The land became dazzling.
So many possibilities were there for the taking that it was difficult to calm the excitement of this rare event and narrow down the options to create a compelling composition. This image, I think, did the best job of distilling the wonder and majesty of that special morning.Upload YOUR Picture • WIN $200 Cash
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor