February 2017 was Vermont’s second warmest February on record. However, the month also had above average snowfall. Record warmth and more snow, that’s hard to do. What affect do these conditions have on landscape photographic opportunities? The short answer is it makes it more difficult. To have a record warm month with above average snowfall means there are some very warm days (Burlington hit 72 degrees, the highest ever February temperature in the State) and some cold snowy periods. If you are a part-time resident like me, it very much depends on what days you are in-state. This February I chose the fourth week of the month and photographically speaking that was the wrong week. The week prior, there had been three big snow storms and judging from other social media posts plenty of winter landscape photo opportunities. Then came a big warm up, just as I arrive. Daytime temperatures in the 60’s F and nighttime lows that barely reached the freezing mark. After several days of these conditions my photo opportunities were limited. Conditions resembled the first week of April with Bare trees, lots of mud, no ice and bright blue sunny skies each day. My fingers, ears and toes enjoyed the tempered weather but my photo senses were not happy. What to do? Simple, keep taking photos.
The answer is always to keep taking photos. Whether the photo gods are smiling upon you or not you have to make the best of each situation. The worst thing you can do is round up all your photo toys and go home. Your worst photos are always the ones you don’ t take. If you are given lots of mud try and taking interesting photos of mud. Bald blue skies everywhere? Do the same and try and it it to work for you. You may not end up with your best stuff but, you will most likely learn a thing or two. Tough conditions require careful thought, and careful thought often leads to better photography. A whole bunch of words to say “keep on plugin'”.
These are a few samples from my trip.