Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January 20: Snow Effect

Between snow showers today the sun made a brief appearance, illuminating a landscape utterly altered by three days of almost constant snow fall. Huge mounds of plowed snow blocked my view of the parking lot. Tree boughs were laden with layers of wet snow, and the apple trees, still bearing their frozen fruit, looked positively sculptural. A pair of crows flew high above the trees, black against white. Across the river, the craggy constant of Mount Battie rose above the trees. I couldn't resist stepping out to take some photos of this fresh new world.

My photo above is no work of art, but I enjoyed how the muted light made the patch of blue sky above the summit, the soft green of a fir tree, and the subtle russet of the apples look hand-colored. A little bit like those old postcards, only with sharper contrast provided by modern camera technology.

Later, while reviewing some photographs a co-worker took today of an easement property, I couldn't help but be struck by how the winter light transformed them into stark and beautiful black-and-whites, despite the fact that, like mine, they were technically color images.

Coastal Mountains Land Trust photo

This evening as I was driving home, I turned on my high beams. The road in my headlights instantly changed from a flat white path bounded by dark trees to a breath-taking, glowing white tunnel filled with a flurry of flakes. It felt like I was driving through a living snow globe. Once again, the snow offered up an unexpected shift in perspective--a simple transformation of the ordinary world into one of those moments of beauty that help sustain us in dark times.

Light, dark, snow, shadow--
the world shifts before our eyes,
beyond our control.

No comments:

Post a Comment