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As a rule Louisville doesn’t get a lot of snow and this winter has been one where we have had maybe 5 or 6 snows. The weather here has changed a great deal from when I was a boy growing up here in the 1950s. Back then we would get really cold winters with snow from November thru April. We could go sledding for days on end and once the snows fell they stayed around for a long time. That has all changed in the past 10 or 15 years and now we seldom have a snow that stays around more than a few days.
Last Wednesday we had snow showers in the morning and by afternoon the temperature was back in the mid 40s. I was in town visiting at my friend Chuck Rubin’s used camera store when I looked outside to see a heavy wet snow falling. I jumped at a chance to photograph Waterfront Park in the snow and immediately headed down to the park. I decided to shoot from the Big Four Bridge, (I’m sure everyone who reads this blog is surprised to hear that LOL), since the snow was really coming down and was covering the ground quickly. Later that afternoon the temperature was back in the upper 40s and the snow was gone as quickly as it arrived
I shot everything in bracket sets of +2, 0 and -2 EV so that I could process them as HDR images. The light was fairly bright so I kept my ISO set at 200 which resulted in fairly fast shutter speeds. The snow was so dense that it rendered itself in gray tones and bright highlights much as clouds do when the sun is in and out. I used NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 to merge the frames and created a couple of my own presets starting with the Deep #2 preset as my basis. I was able then to move through the several merged sets in a little less time than trying to adjust each merged set individually. Even with that I still had to make adjustments to my preset depending on the balance of light and dark in the individual HDR images.
After completing my initial processing in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2; I opened each one in Aperture 3 where I completed the adjustments for exposure, contrast, detail, vibrance, and sharpening. I also did a small amount of spot removal where individual snowflakes rendered themselves as sensor spots sometimes do. I did not attempt to remove every snowflake’s shadow from the sky because part of what I wanted to convey was how large and dense they were.
Below you will find more from that day’s photo shoot. I hope you enjoy them and will comment where you think appropriate. I converted some of the images to black and white after merging them in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 to create a different version that was more about contrast and form than color.