Ya work with what ya get


On christmas evening, the threatened storms rolled in, giving us the third snowfall of December. This is a fairly rare occurrence for this latitude, where we usually don’t get snows until January at least, and often not this heavy. While I learned how to drive in central New York, I don’t have a vehicle ready for winter driving, so when the roads get treacherous, I stay home. In this case, I’m at The Girlfriend’s Place, which is semi-urban and not a scenic area. Most noticeably, it’s difficult to do any kind of wider-angle photography without getting houses and wires in the photo. So my winter photography recently has been pretty limited.

Above, a mockingbird realizes some more calories are needed to keep warm, and snacks on some late berries. Birds are a good subject in wintertime, since they remain active but become much easier to spot, and generally stand out well against the snow and bare branches – much better with brighter light than this, though.

But sometimes, you can do something a little different. The clouds were clearing tonight, allowing a few scattered stars to peek through. A long exposure (in this case 20 seconds) can bring up the fainter stars, set against the snow-covered branches illuminated by the streetlights. I chose darker branches for this image to emphasize the stars more, and to allow more of an impression of what you’d see gazing up from a dark locale. Right now I haven’t determined if the constellation Orion is obvious enough to most viewers, or if the three belt stars are more confusing in their symmetry and I should have stayed with just a random star patch.

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