Let It Snow, let in snow, let it snow.

December 17, 2014  •  4 Comments

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It won’t come as much of a surprise to most of you that wildlife photographers (me included) have a bit on and obsession with snow, get any collective group of TOGS together and it won’t be long until you hear the phrase ‘oooh I’d love to photograph that in snow” to be honest, for many of us it’s a bit of an obsession.  

Well I’m delighted to report that the first snow of winter has arrived in the Highlands. The first outing in winter conditions always comes as a bit of a shock, there are so many things to reacquaint yourself with, the different clothing and equipment to dust off, snow shoes, head torches and so much more, there’s even different weather and avalanche forecasts to carefully study and consider.

Yesterday I spent the day at our crested tit site, it looked amazing with over a foot of new snow. The Cresties were in top form (as usual) and their cheeky antics are great to lift ones sprits. At any one time there were four to six buzzing around with many others close by, when I did try to count them I lost count at nine!

Photographing any species in snow has its own challenges. Staying warm is one, it helps to wear and layer the correct clothing (I’m now testing a range of clothing called Ridgeline of New Zealand  - more on that on my next blog) although I’m still searching for a pair of boots that will keep me dry and warm in temperatures below freezing. Another challenge is to set the camera to the correct exposure. A camera thinks that snow is grey and will under expose the image to what it thinks is correct to compensate for this I either increase the exposure by one-two stops or use manual settings, I find this works best.

On a recent trip to the mountain hares both equipment and photographer was tested to the limit, the weather was brutal, with strong winds, deep snow and blizzard conditions This day was one of the hardest I’ve ever experienced. (Again there will be a blog about that coming very soon.)

As I write this my thoughts turn to my beloved Ptarmigan and the thought of them in deep pristine snow is rather appealing, you never know I may even get an opportunity to try out my new snowshoes.

This image was taken in a previous winter. Hopefully I’ll have something new to share with you very soon.

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

 

Andy.

 

 

 


Comments

Andy Howard Nature Photography
Thanks Jonny

I did find a Juv. Dotterel a few weeks after we met, there are pics of it on the site. Your kind comment was very much appreciated. I'm sure we'll bump into one another one day!

Andy.
Jonny Pott(non-registered)
Brilliant photos Andy. Never did see any more Dotterel after I met you in the Cairngorms at the end of summer!
Andy Howard Nature Photography
Thanks Nick

I think you're right about the boots, I'll give them a go.
At present I stay well away from the avalanche prone slopes, thankfully the Ptarmigan move to lower ground as the snow accumulates.

You never know, I may take you up on that offer!

Regards.

Andy.
Nick Forwood(non-registered)
Boots. I suggest you look at double mountaineering boots and perhaps insulated gaiters.
Avalanches. I can offer personal tuition as a former Scottish avalanche patroller!!
Get in touch... The Black Isle isn't that far away
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