March 20, 2021

A Snow Session...on the First Day of Spring (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Ever since my first snow & ice sessions with Ingrid in 2008, I have kept out for appropriate winter days to work with a model on...and this was the first time since that everything came together to permit a return to working outdoors in winter (obviously, there have been many days in the intervening 13 years where the winter weather was warm enough, or a model was available, or I was available...but this was the first time all three came together perfectly. The day before had a small snow storm, and while much of the snow had melted off the trees by the time the day had warmed to 5 celsius, there was still plenty of snow on the ground to leave no doubt these were images made in the winter (even though technically, it was the first day of spring.

Digital original

When we arrived at our planned location, another vehicle was parked, so we headed in a slightly different direction, and walked into the forest until we found a suitable location. A fallen tree, covered with a blanket of snow, but with some wonderfully weathered exposed wood was the perfect place to start working. With back lighting flooding across the scene, there was some great play between shadows and highlights provided, and a wide lens helped create some direction and flow to the composition.

Digital original

As was inevitable, working so close to a river, Esme, in mid-pose experimentation, asked if she could do an image of her putting her toe in the water. The result may not be the most dynamic image I've made, but the contrast between the snow around her, and her interest in touching the water is as accurate a portrait of Esme character as I have made to date.

Digital original

During a pause between compositions, the light on Esme was perfect, so we paused the more deliberate work to made some candid portraits - the angular early-evening sun was quite striking as a rim-light on her torso and hair!

Digital original

The last set of images of the short snow-session were of Esme exploring a tree that stretched out over the river. Again the back lighting was really pleasing, with the broad dynamic range of the Canon EOS R5 really contributing to the look of the final image (I doubt I would have had such a lovely result with the older EOS 5DsR). 

All in all, the winter session with Esme was fun; with the snow-cover being relatively light, it didn't have the wow factor that we'd both been wishing for, but beggar's can't be choosers, and given how mild the weather was, it was a really good session, and left us both eager for warmer weather (and water) in the coming months!

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