Saturday, January 4, 2014

Winter Shadows

On a clear sunny day, winter shadows are always quite striking.  With no leaves to get in the way, there's no generalized 'shade', but direct stark shadows of every tree, undulating across the snow of the forest floor, all marching in the same direction.

 I think the best shadow shots are taken directly into the sun, although you have to be careful to hide your camera lens in the shadow behind a tree trunk to avoid sun flares.

In this one you can see the frost on the shrubs and saplings in the woods, which was really what I was trying to capture - shooting from the car window in -23°C temperatures yesterday.

Shadows taken the other direction are still interesting, but they don't seem to have the same stark darkness, though you can certainly tell the shape of this big old maple from its shadow on the open field.

 Even across the road tree shadows are interesting.  In places they line up like a horizontal army of trees, etched in blue on the road, a picture you would simply never get at any other season.  Of course the white snow helps a lot with the contrast!

It warmed up a lot today, and was only -10° or -5°C, so it was a perfect day to get out (these pictures were shot yesterday and last Monday).  So I joined a group touring the new cross-country trails nearby.  I was left in the dust almost immediately, but this time I went all the way to the end of the trails and back, finding a companion along the way who was also skiing at my pace.  In spite of the blustery wind in your face part of the way back, it was a great ski!


  1. I really like the last photo. It got up to -13 here today. It was a beauty!

  2. Love those! I wrote one of my newspaper columns about the bars of shadow across the road last winter.