art photography

The kids and I were out in a foot of fresh powdery snow most of yesterday.  We were up in the Arroyo Hondo valley north of Taos New Mexico on the north edge of the Colombine-Hondo Wilderness Study Area.  We built a snow tunnel, followed animal tracks and built a little fire to warm up on and off.  During the breaks I was out working over some black and white shots. The lighting as the storm moved in and out and the snow fell in sporadic episodes and made for new opportunities at every turn.

In New Mexico, our high desert winter skies are blue – and yet somehow stark.  The contrast is very high and snow

art photography

covered trees and rock outcroppings come off pretty eerie in a way.  This is just a personal choice but I really don’t always like the white against blue contrast and so I’m finding that I increasingly prefer to shoot winter scenes in black and white and dive into the art photography.  At least when it comes to landscape shots.

Photographing snowy scenes is a little tough.  Snow reflects any sunlight you might have and so it messes with the white balance and exposure in the camera and so you can often end up with a bluish tint or a blinding light blowout that kills the image.  To get rid of the blue-ish tint I tend to overexpose just a bit.

When the snow is blinding or if I’m trying to capture some details like leaves, animals tracks and the likes I dial back the exposure a step or two in order to grab the details.

I’m still working on it.

Find a few more winter shots here, here, here and here.





  1. Comment by Marc d'Entremont

    Marc d'Entremont Reply December 17, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Too bad your a couple thousand miles away. I need a teacher!

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply December 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      Maybe we need to find a way to exchange a photography lesson for a cooking lesson….hmmmmm….you know, every time I read your stuff it also gets me thinking I need to work on the food photography alot more.

  2. Comment by Leif Harum

    Leif Harum Reply December 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Really cool, amazed that its in NM. It gives me a feeling of nostalgia when I look at it.

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply December 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Leif, are you from NM? Yes, its an amazing place. Thank you for the kudos!

  3. Comment by Kiva Duckworth-Moulton

    Kiva Duckworth-Moulton Reply December 22, 2012 at 2:52 am

    I love reading how you spend time with your kids, what magical times! Snow makes its own magic, of course!

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply December 23, 2012 at 5:01 am

      I love it Kiva.

  4. Comment by Maria Elena Gonzalez Henriquez

    Maria Elena Gonzalez Henriquez Reply December 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    This is an amaizing picture… and the artist who is on it is beautiful….that must be Isabella…

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply December 23, 2012 at 5:02 am

      There she is. My lovely girl. When she was a little one in the snow in Finland she always pretended she was a baby snow-leopard.

  5. Comment by Jess Van Wickel

    Jess Van Wickel Reply December 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Love the subject, love the view, love the photography, but Jim-O' I'll take Southern California weather anyday!

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply December 23, 2012 at 5:03 am

      I will agree with that Jess Van Wickel. Even tho I grew up in it, the older I get the more I feel like…its ok for about 1 month and that is enough. Then I'm ready for SoCal!

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