Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter Snow Revolt

Composite of multiple exposures while rotating the camera

Like many in Northern Virginia, I was caught in the traffic snarl during yesterday's "Thunder Snow Storm."  I have never experienced anything quite like it before and don't want to again -- and I was more fortunate than some.  For those not in the area, the precipitation started just as some people were being released early from work (around 3pm).  It changed quickly from rain to sleet to wet heavy snow with snowfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour.   The combination of the sudden flux of traffic and the snow brought traffic to a dead stop.  The snowplows were useless because the roads were clogged with immobile cars.  Basically, I left work at 4:30pm and was in standstill traffic for the next five and half hours.  Finally at 10pm I was able to turn onto a side street back towards my office.  I was only about a mile away, but it took me another 30 minutes.  I spent the night in my office and went home in the morning around 6am.  I passed over a dozen cars that had been abandoned, either because they were hopelessly stuck or had run out of gas.  I heard on the news that it took some people 10-12 hours to make it home.  Completely unreal.
Lensbaby trio
While the snow on the trees was pretty, I just couldn't bring myself to take any pictures of it after that experience.  So, after I got home, I revolted against the colorless snow, went to the grocery store and bought a bouquet of flowers.  I spent much of the day photographing the flowers using either a Lensbaby or a Canon 70-200 F/2.8 with a 55mm extension tube.  The extension tube allows a closer focusing distance (~12 inches) than the 70-200 normally allows (1.4 m).
Bed of pink

Reaching for the light

I hope you will join me in revolting against the winter snow and find something colorful to help you remember that spring is less than 2 months away.


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  2. Gorgeous! Really love the shots against black. I am so sorry you experienced such terrible traffic. Many years ago, I was commuting from DC and it took me 5.5 hours but at least I made it home!! At least you were able to channel your frustation into creative pursuits!!! How did you enjoy using the extension tubes? I borrowed them a while ago and found them quite difficult myself. But you seem to do quite a bit with manual focusing, so perhaps it wasn't as frustrating for you!

  3. Love these! The first one looks (searches for perfect word) incredible? Awesome? Fantastic? I also like the last one, Reaching For the Light! These are awesomeness!

  4. Thanks Sarah and Angela, I appreciate your comments.

    Angela, I find myself using the extension tubes almost exclusively now and hardly use my 100mm macro. I think there are two reasons. 1) the quality of the optics in the 70-200 F/2.8L is excellent -- probably not a better quality optic in my price range. 2) Since I learned to use the live view on the 5D Mk 2, I almost exclusively use manual focus with macro photography. It's true that auto focus and at least the kenko extension tubes don't go very well together, but live view makes manual focus much easier.

    Thanks again for your comments.

  5. What an awful evening it was. Over four hours to get home. Worse snow than last year I think.
    This is a perfect revolt I have to say. Love the vivid colors.

    By the way, spring is only 30 days away. I recognize March 1 as the first day of spring.

  6. I love the last photo - Reaching for the Light - especially. Sorry you had such a miserable experience, but glad it inspired these photos.