This was me as I went outside this morning.
No, Teddy did not get his walk. The “Walking in a Winter Wonderland ” in the title is only hypothetical.
It was 4 degrees, for heaven sake.
This may be no hill to climb for some of you, but let me say that we are not used to it around here.
Cold as it was, it was so beautiful that I ventured outside in my flip flops for a few photos.
The gal up top is not really me. She is a garden sculpture that represents me. Her name is Four Winds
Her pal in the next picture is Easy Mark (referencing guess who). Together, they stand outside the gate and act as our Guardians against evil.
These copper pipe sculptures are created by Native American artist, Mark Fischer, who lives and works in Wisconsin. We have three of these so far. The third is one I call Garden Grace (but the artist calls her “Strawberry’). She holds a couple of Hummingbird feeders in Summer, and suet cages in Winter.
She looks like this . . .
The sculptures stand about 6 feet tall and are easy to install. You can see all the wonderful designs, and even purchase them, from Mark Fischer’s website . . .
I have two or three more on my wish list.
Our trees are never Winter Wonderland trees like they were this morning . . .
Yes, those are what we call “trees” in the second photo. They are short and fat, but they are Juniper Pines and this is the only time they aren’t making allergy trouble of some kind.
But, the real visual treats were in the close-ups . . .
My real birds did much better than this. They were all flying around, drinking from the heated birdbath, eating from the feeders, and discussing how lowly humans not only can’t fly, they don’t even know how to deal with single digit temperatures! “Look at that crazy woman,” they tweeted, “she’s barefoot!!!”
The really glorious part was that we had glitter snow. I love glitter snow, but I can’t imagine how to capture it in a photo. Here’s my best attempt . . .
Here’s a little photo advice about taking pictures in snow.
Camera light meters are set up to expose everything with the settings that would produce a nice middle gray (18% gray, actually). This works for lots of things, but not things that are very dark, or very light – like snow. Both will be too gray and lose their intensity.
So, most of your snow photos will turn out gray.
Almost all digital cameras have what is called Exposure Compensation, which lets you increase or decrease the exposure by small increments. This is usually indicated by a Plus/Minus icon on some button on your camera. (look it up in your manual if you can’t find it).
A good rule of thumb is that snow needs an exposure boost (plus) of at least +1.
If it’s too late, the photos are taken, and the moment is gone, you can adjust Exposure after the fact in Photoshop or Elements. Look under Image Adjustments.
Always remember to return your Exposure Comp to zero when you are done shooting. Forgetting to change back can really overexpose the next photos you take if they are not snow pictures.
Do you have any favorite Winter photo? Share it with us in a Comment.
And speaking of Comments . . .
Challenge Winners . . .
Wow, I better shut this off before I give away the farm.
I can’t believe how astute you are, or how many of you must by lumber-women!
I would have thought our mystery photo was red meat, or any of the other great guesses you came up with, but those of you who guessed that it was found on a cut piece of wood were right. Here is the subject shot from a normal distance.
This is a tree by the entrance of Harry’s Roadhouse – a well loved eatery here in Santa Fe. One big branch had been sawn off. I was blown away by the color. This color is NOT adjusted, and the shot was taken with my iPhone.
Now, I don’t know if this is sap or pitch or resin or rosen or fungus or what, and I do believe it is a Pinon Pine tree, but if you guessed that it was something on cut wood, you won a Gift Certificate.
To claim your prize, email me at
and claim your answer. I will put your email address on my Gift Certificate list for future reference.
I will email back how you can use your Gift Certificate.
This was fun. You amazed me, and I will do this again sometime because it was so fun.
Eva, I loved the strawberry, and I think Suzanne’s macro was a straw? But, Therese, I can’t guess what yours is, but it is certainly beautiful!!