Snow Storm Pax

In the Mid-Atlantic, the 2014 winter presented many opportunities. A few too many, for me.

During the storm Pax, it was anything but peaceful. Western Maryland was hit again with a major storm, and I couldn't bear another photo of white. I needed to find color in the cold winter, and that meant getting out of bed a lot earlier than I prefer.

I found an elevated position, some streetlights, icicles, and, finally, a person. Given the pulsating nature of modern lighting, the streaks of snow flakes became jagged strips during a slow hand-held exposure. I put the field of focus just beyond the hanging icicles to keep the scene soft. The blurred motion of the walker, the chaotic movements of the snow flakes, and, oh yeah, my shaking frigid hands, yielded a snow photo that really is about color and light.




Each December, Antietam National Battlefield visitors remember the more than 23,000 fallen soldiers from the epic September 17, 1862 Civil War battle. Sand, candles, and paper bags are combined to make a glowing memorial to the soldiers, and thousands come at dusk to drive through the park.

Photographing the illumination is a somber event. Evening light dims, and voices drop. My task is to make a front page photo on deadline. Critical to achieving that is being in place, ready to shoot, during the short window of "magic light." The 20 minutes or so of falling light at dusk saturates colors and drops details in shadow areas. The glow from the luminaria comes close to the brightness (dimness?) of the sky, and neither overpowers the other. Add just a couple of elements - cannon and photographer silhouette - and a lovely photo results.


Morning Walker

 One day I needed to make a photo in West Virginia to anchor a news page. It could be any subject, so I wandered into Shepherd University's new Wellness Center and found a very cooperative walker. She was walking the elevated track and agreed to keep walking while I made a few pictures. I like low angles, interesting light, and geometric shapes, so as she walked lap after lap, I experimented with remote flashes and gels. I often ask people to just do their thing as l do mine. Thankfully, she had a lot of laps to walk, and gave me enough chances to make a photo that jumped off the page.