Sometimes it needs an inspiration from someone outside of our own bowl to make us look in a different direction or look in the same direction with a different pair of eyes. This happened to me after reading three blog posts from one of my favorite photographers, Moose Peterson, during the last five days. BROWN ON SNOW / GREEN ON SNOW / RED ON SNOW, they all talked about how to work with these colors in a photo with snow and still telling the story about winter.
It was still snowing this morning when I went out to the rocky bluffs we have behind our house. The snow had painted the brown tree trunks nicely but I was looking for more. It isn’t easy to get a clear view of any of the rocks without having too many bare sticks or small trees in the frame. I finally found a spot where I was able to implement the red-orange tones of the rocks into my photo.
Later in the day, with sunset just ahead, Joan and I went on a walk with the dog down in the valley where the Little Maquoketa River runs. I have the white balance settings in camera most of the time on Auto mode. That works pretty good for most landscape photos but in this image it leaves a blue color cast on the snow because the foreground was completely in the shade already. This is easy to change but I actually like it this way. The low sitting sun brought out the warm tones of the tree trunks and rocks on the other side of the valley and even the snow reflects the power of the sun. The blue color in the foreground is complementary to the warm colors in the back and it tells the story about another cold winter night that was just half an hour away.