Yesterday's pre-New Year's firework from Mother Nature. It was a super cool day (no, pun not intended) till I was running late for sunset. There were only a few clouds (and some contrails) building up when I left the house. Usually, this area is a sunrise spot and I thought, yeah, even if it won't be good today, it is great to have scouted the area for a future shooting in the next days before leaving for good.
Yeah, so I arrive about a mile away from where I want to be shooting later. It looks like there are more clouds being pushed over the nearby ridge. Hurry! I cross the bridge and then it hit me... BANG! I would need snowshoes for this. Fawk! Too late to pick 'em up. Well, I am going to try anyway. I find this nice cross country skiing slope which looks pretty good to walk on and wasn't used in days. Cool, I say, since it was a little snowed over, I can easily walk on it and don't ruin it for the rest of the crowd which I am sure, hates it as much as I do... people walking over the slopes, that is.
After a few steps I already knew, this won't be as easy and comfortable as I thought it would be... Swoosh! In goes my left foot... up to the knee. Swish... this time, for a little change... my right foot but even deeper. For another half a mile nothing changed... sweat was running down the crack of my... tripod. (Is that what you were thinking?) I was TOO late. Faster! I had to go faster in order to make it to the desired spot in time for the glory that should await me.
From one knee-deep hole to the other, I was struggling. This place is good enough... Color is already showing... extended to the max, I placed the tripod in the snowy goodness. Only the top third was still visible, the rest easily sunk deep in the powdery snow. At this point, needless to say, my shoes were drenched and my toes felt like they had fallen off already. I carefully set up my first comp... not too shabby.
Hey, wait... there's a great gray heron right at the bend, another 400 yards or so away. Mmmmmh. That's cool and with the steam hovering over the river this might be an equally cool shot but moving another 300 miles into the snow, away from the car and risking losing the light and quite possibly the heron shot too from what my heavy breathing told me. No way, I am waiting for the light. HERE.
... and how worth it it was. Pink streaks of fluffy clouds moved quickly across the valley, along with a half a dozen of nice contrails. Thanks Miles. Steam is creeping along the bends in the river, thick hoarfrost covers the branches and the snow turns to a pinkish purple glow from the color in the sky and the zero degree Fahrenheit temperature, BUT all of a sudden, my feet don't feel cold any longer. Into photo-adrenaline overload I go. I shoot, shoot, shoot. With the last light of the day, I crawled back out of the snow with great memories and a memory card filled with images.
Speaking of memories, as this will be my last post of the year and it is the time to reflect on some things, I want to thank you all for the comments, faves and fun throughout the last year. A special thanks goes out to my Cali and PDX people, Stephen Oachs, Brian Rueb, Scott Davis and the rest of the ApCad crew, Miles Morgan, Joshua Cripps, Jim Patterson and Jave.
Here's to a great Twenty-Eleven!
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