CLASSICAL PHOTOGRAPHY by Jess Isaiah Levin, Raleigh, NC

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December 26, 2010

The first significant snowfall of the year in Raleigh, and I had to work (indoors) until almost sunset! :(

Still, as soon as I got home, I grabbed camera and tripod, chose my most versatile lens*, and walked as quickly as I dared (on the slick street) to a neighborhood park.

The paths were heavily trodden, but the young and adult children were now gone. I was thinking in terms of black and white, and hoping I could find places where the remaining traces of daylight would highlight texture in the snow and trees. As a happy surprise,I found that the stream reflected some of the deep sky tone at this angle :

reflected blue sky

Looking almost 180 degrees opposite, the snow looked cold with its blue cast, but the remaining leaves in the trees still showed their red-brown hue. You can see some of them floating in the water as well (more easily in a larger version of the image, of course).

stream by night

When the daylight was completely gone, I headed home, but stopped when I saw how three different artificial light sources (mercury vapor, sodium vapor, and tungsten incandescent) made a rainbow of colors on the snowy vegetation. A half-minute exposure brought out the details, and the breeze cooperated by pausing for those thirty seconds.

vapor lamp rainbow

*Different lenses allow one to do different things well, but in this situation, because I didn't know whether I would find close range details, a sweeping vista, or a narrow sight line needing telephoto compression, the one I chose was a 24-105 mm zoom. I knew time would be short, and carrying a bag of lenses wouldn't offer much advantage.

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All images on this site © Jess Isaiah Levin