Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Snow Before Halloween

A few weekends ago I took a day trip out to Virginia's Skyline Drive. As we approached the entrance, you could see glimpses of what looked like snow on the upper meadows, and sure enough, when we got to the gate, we were informed that the road was closed 4 miles in.

The views were great and there was a nice contrast between the lush green grass and the light dusting of snow.

We wanted more, though, so we backtracked and drove 30 miles south to the next entrance.

**UPDATE** Ever since I picked up the camera again about 3 years ago, I've wondered how the "pros" get shots like this to look as good as they do. I mean, look at my sky...it's flat, boring and washed out. In person, it was intense and beautiful. So...how do they do it? Is it pure patience, or luck? That's how I got my favorite shot (the title of the blog)...I was in the right place at the right time and I waited until the scene was perfect? Is it really that simple?

Well, no. To make the sky look more like what I saw, I've since discovered I should have been using a Neutral Gradient filter, or a "grad". Rockwell, as usual has the goods: www.kenrockwell.com. Go there, search for ND Grad or Grad filter and marvel at his shots with/without the grad filter.


This is what we came for! The wind was howling over the ridges and you could tell there snow had been much more intense, with a nice 3-4 inch layer of snow blanketing the mountainsides, the road and the trees. It was still melting, but there were pockets of ice and icicles hanging from some trees!

I'm holding out hope that this winter will be long and dark and snowy and cold. I can't wait to be able to skate on the pond across from our house, and to make a whole lot more of these fun winter drives!