Winter Break – Part 2

After being away for few days around the New Year celebration, I returned slowly to my daily job while postponing my blog for few more days. The reason: reviewing some photos taken in this interval and updating my photo gear with few additional gadgets.

Because we haven’t seen the snow in Vancouver this holiday season, accepting the invitation of some friends in one of the first west coast ski areas of United States – Cle Elum, Kittitas County, WA – was a quick decision. While the forecast wasn’t particularly encouraging, I packed my photo gear hoping to get at least some winter photos.

Well, the expectations were fulfilled only in part: the sky was grey most of the time but the snow was already covering everything as you can see below.

The climate in Cle Elum is generally mild in the winter months (–5°C to +5°C or 23°F to 41°F); while weather extremes are not excluded, this time was not any different than the average, so I enjoyed the time spent in this area walking around with my camera.

The snow partially covered the fir and pine trees creating a beautiful lace impossible to ignore.

The absence of the direct sun light and the diffuse atmosphere produced almost black and white photos lacking shadows or light glitters that normally contribute to nice looking images. Finding subjects in such conditions seemed difficult. As a photographer in love with the games that the light plays with the elements of the scene – especially when shooting landscapes – everything looked rather dull and lacking the “wow” factor.

However, I continued to shoot while waking with the joy of a kid seeing the first snow.

Sometimes the subject reveals in the details: the fresh snow on a fir branch represents not only the season but its festive connotations around this time of the year. In the end we all like the Christmas tree with a winter like appearance; why would we put tinsel and cotton on the branches other than suggesting the icicles and the snow?

Some other times a lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains can offer a more classical landscape opportunity. The following is a good capture, not exceptional for sure, but decent enough to be just likable.

Let’s be honest: the goal of this trip wasn’t the photography by any means. I needed a real break and a disconnection from the daily work and responsibilities; a breath of fresh air and a real opportunity to spend some joyful moments with my wife in a group of good friends. As consequence, having fun with the sleds was part of seeing this objective accomplished. Can you blame us for feeling much younger than we are?

The view from the sleds sliding down the hill was amazing. But who had the time to enjoy it? On the side of the road, while catching my breath, I took another picture. To remember that day: the last day of 2011.

The magic of photography does not always rely in the most exquisite captures done with the most advanced tools and the perfection of a masterpiece. Our memories create the magic that make good captures food for our souls. And, as social beings, we like to share it with others with the honest desire to make them part of our personal history.

I hope you enjoyed your winter break at least as much as I did and kept some of your memories as images to share with your relatives and friends. As much as we would like to think otherwise, the photography is the art of seeing and remembering in a very personal way.

Have a good 2012 my friends!


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