Our First Snow of 2020 and What I am Learning About Photography

Well it finally happened! We got snow! WooHoo…a good four inches!

The second week of January 2020…a fair amount of snow blanketed the Washington DC area. Schools closed as well as the Federal Government…because that’s what we do. We basically don’t know how to handle bad weather..so we freak out and over react. We rush to the grocery store to buy bread and milk…because we may run out over the course of a day or two. We stand in long lines at the gas station..worrying we may get stranded on the roads. We put chains on our car tires and rush to the hardware store to buy shovels and salt.

I grew up in the DC area and have seen this happen for decades. I giggle about each and every time. Slowly over the years…we get better about the way we handle snow. But we can only get as good as weather predictions. As the accuracy of weather forecasts increase, so does our response. It’s a painfully slow process but human behavior is also slow to change.

Anyway, we very much enjoyed our mini snow storm and I took the opportunity to capture the moment with my camera or cameras and learn more about photography. Being a blogger, I am trying to learn as much as I can about taking photos and playing around with different settings, apertures, and trying to understand more about exposure.

I also filmed a short video of our home in the snow, you can view it HERE.

First Snow 2020 Revised -4The blurry background effect is one of my favorites and the iPhone does a magnificent job of capturing the “bokeh” effect.

First Snow 2020 Revised -3A shot from the top of our driveway and our son playing in the snow. This picture was taken around 5pm at dusk when daylight was beginning to fade.

First Snow 2020 Revised -2The type of snow during this storm was the perfect picture taking snow. It was a heavy wet snow that looked so beautiful resting on the tree limbs.

First Snow 2020 RevisedAs many of you know, we recently painted the exterior of our home, Home Exterior Modernization Final Reveal .

First Snow 2020 Revised -1And added outdoor lighting – Our Home is Lit! All About Outdoor Lighting.

First Snow 2020 Revised -6So I was beyond excited to get our first real snow…and see our painted home on a hill nestled in a blanket of white. I absolutely love it!

First Snow 2020 Revised -8I also enjoyed playing with different cameras and settings to capture the various lighting.

First Snow 2020 Revised -19I don’t doctor my photos or use photoshop to change anything. I always try to capture the most natural picture and use mother nature as my photoshop.

First Snow 2020 Revised -10You’ll notice some pictures are darker or more blue than others. That is due to the time of day the picture was taken.

First Snow 2020 Revised -17In the earlier part of the day, the pictures appear more white.

First Snow 2020 Revised -7Slowly as we approach dusk, the pictures get more blue. This is not due to anything I am doing to alter the photo, this is all due to lighting and the slow elimination of natural light.

First Snow 2020 Revised -16Photography is all about light!! The proper lighting or lack of good lighting will make or break a photo.

First Snow 2020 Revised -21I love this picture of the snow falling with our house as the backdrop. This picture was taken with a flash, which is what captured the snowflakes. The house appears a bit darker, because the camera is focusing in on the snow.

First Snow 2020 Revised -23In the later part of the evening, pictures will appear the darkest blue, eventually turning to black when all the natural light is gone.

First Snow 2020 Revised -20This picture reminds me of a “postcard”, the sky was perfect and the lighting from the homes created a wonderful glow for the camera to focus in on and capture a shot.

First Snow 2020 Revised -18It’s important to think about dimension in Photography, in this shot the uplighting on the snowy branches peek into the capture.

First Snow 2020 Revised -14In just a moment’s time, the sky has changed and the clouds have shifted. The sky is less blue and more white. Again…I have not doctored these photos in anyway…it’s all about the time of day and lighting.

On occasion, I have brightened up a photo a bit if there was not enough light in the room, but my preference is always to show the most natural picture possible without making any adjustments to the photo. Mother Nature should speak for herself.

I am in no way a professional photographer…but a beginner learning by hands on experience 😉 If you have any photography tips, I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line in the comments below.



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22 thoughts on “Our First Snow of 2020 and What I am Learning About Photography

  1. I there! I love, love, love your blog!

    I am a professional photographer, and I wanted to share some tips. You got the hardest part down. You have great composition. You have a great sense of depth of field. Some of your pictures look a little blue, especially #1, 2, 4. That’s every easy to correct in post processing. The challenge is to keep the snow looking white. In photoshop you can see what true color hue the snow is at. Also, for the night shots, are you using any type of lighting or light modifiers, such a flash? If so, I can show you how you can get the snow to be white white and have the sky be blue. Drop me a line if you are interested and I can walk you through these my suggestions. Or, I can do it in PhotoShop and record a little screen video of how I did it. Let me know!

    By the way, the folks that did the lighting for your home did a fabulous job.

    1. Hi Marcarena, thank you for the kind compliments. I am just learning about photography and find it very intriguing. I actually like the blue hues in the pictures…is that weird 🙂 I do not like to alter my photos if at all possible…weird again…I know. I was playing around with a flash outside and that is how I captured the snowflakes. I’d like to learn more taking pictures and the effect different settings have on the photos instead of altering them after the fact. I appreciate your offer for more suggestions! thank you!

  2. Denise your home is so beautiful! It seems made for pictures in the snow! Thanks for all the different views – they are like postcards! 😉 Happy Snow Day my friend! 💗

    1. So nice of you Barbara. I really enjoyed playing in all that white with my camera. It was a thrill to see snow 🙂 I am hoping you get some soon my friend!

  3. Those are gorgeous pictures Denise! I think you are very skilled at composition and I love the blues. It really makes the white snow pop. I never alter my photos after either. It seems strange you have had snow, and we’ve hardly had any…..a few flakes here and there but nothing measurable, however that may change this weekend.

    1. Thank you Joni! I love learning about photography. It’s fascinating seeing all the changes in mother nature moment to moment and trying to capture the perfect shot 🙂 This past weekend was 70 degrees! Crazy weather…but it is cooling down this weekend for us too! I’ll send some snow your way 😉

      1. Denise – what kind of camera are you using? A new camera was one of my New Years resolutions. I alternate between my old digital and cell phone, but would like to upgrade to something a bit fancier.

      2. To be honest, I use my iPhone for 90% of my pictures. I have the iPhone 11 pro max, and upgrade to the newest model each year and it takes excellent pictures. Although I don’t like flash photography with the iPhone. You don’t need the pro max for great pictures, my prior versions of the iPhone took great pictures as well. I also have a Canon EOS M50 which I like a lot. My husband just bought me a Canon Rebel T31 which I am playing around with too. It uses different technology..so something to get used to. But again…the iPhone takes excellent pics.

      3. I just have a Samsung and it takes just ok pictures. I’ve looked at the Cannon Rebel but couldn’t decide. I usually have to research something to death before I make a decision!

      4. My husband is the same way and he really likes the Rebel. I haven’t worked with it enough to give a solid opinion…again most of my pics are with my iPhone

      5. Just experimenting on my own. Taking a photography course is on my to do list…maybe this year 🙂

      6. I just wondered as a blogger friend bought a fancy camera and she’s had a hard time figuring it out so seldom uses it but it’s a time consuming thing.

      7. It is time consuming, and I think to really learn how to take great pictures…you have to use it a lot. My iPhone directly uploads to my laptop, which is very convenient. Any other camera takes that extra step to upload, then the editing, then watermark…etc. I like being able to cut out that extra step with my iPhone 🙂

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