Jim Salge Photography Blog

Images of New England captured in dramatic light and atmosphere

Frigid Beauty…

I don’t understand it myself, so I certainly understand other people not understanding these feelings, but I LOVE being outside when it is below zero out. It’s not a macho thing, it’s merely a personal thing. The way the air feels and looks, and the atmospheric effects that the world can create when it gets cold are captivating to me.

This weekend I had two clear mornings when the temperatures dropped to about -10F, and the light and atmosphere did not disappoint. I started Saturday morning on a hill above Conway, NH and as the light began to emerge, I saw some fog in the valley towards Eaton. Knowing that this could in fact be ice fog, I drove down to Crystal Lake, and found myself in the most magical scene.

Sundogs in Eaton, NH

Sundogs in Eaton, NH

Hanging in the air were millions of tiny ice crystals, each one capable of catching, reflecting and refracting the light. Looking away from the sun, the air looked to be twinkling, not unlike a summer night, but the points of light were smaller and warmer. If you’ve ever been knocked on the head and saw stars…that’s what it’s like. Magical.  And something that cannot be captured with any justice to real life…

Hoarfrost on the Lakeshore

Hoarfrost on the Lakeshore

Towards the sun, the light was refracted into sundogs, prismatic effects to the right and left of the sun. They hovered in the foreground right over the lake. And lining the entire shoreline was a coating of hoar frost on all the trees. I donned snowshoes, and trudged all around the lake and the area behind the famous white church, and remained in awe for hours.

Fridgid Bridge on Chocorua Lake

Fridgid Bridge on Chocorua Lake

This morning, I was hoping the scene would repeat itself. After shooting Mount Washington at dawn, I raced down to Chocorua, hoping for more diamond dust. None to be found, but the hoar frost was thick and heavy around the bridge. There is enough current flowing between the two sections of lake to keep it open, and mist completed the scene.

I shot until my feet said no more…it was cold after all!

One Response to “Frigid Beauty…”

  1. Mary Hafele says:

    awesome, Jim. I will be happy to look at your photos rather than going out in search of this scenery on foot!

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