Jim Salge Photography Blog

Images of New England captured in dramatic light and atmosphere

“Dangerous” Cold…

I love shooting in cold weather. There is just a certain feeling to the air when it is down around zero that I can’t replicate at warmer temperatures. Maybe it’s the extra oxygen per breath thanks to the increased density of the air, or maybe it’s the disillusion effect caused by blood leaving my brain to protect the ‘vital’ organs around my core.   Or…maybe it’s that the rays of the first solar radiation on the face feel so much warmer than usual that the vitamin D production goes into overdrive.  Whatever reason, physiological or psychological, I look forward to getting out for sunrise when it’s below zero all year.

There can be neat effects in the atmosphere at extremely cold temperatures. Over open water, sea smoke and mist can hang, dancing in early light. Ice crystals can fill the air like a billion prisms, creating rainbows of diffracted light. Hoar frost can coat objects in long, beautiful spears.

Unfortunately, despite the cold, none of that was present this morning…

The plan was to meet up with local photography meetup group on Flickr for a morning shoot at Adams Point in Durham, NH. On the ride over, I kept hearing on newsradio and NPR how dangerous the cold was. COLD, like teens in South Carolina bringing all of modern society to a halt.  Space heaters sold out in Miami, who recorded snow for only the second time in all of recorded history.  Would anyone show in the frozen north, where my thermometer read ZERO? 

Well, I was pleasantly surprised upon arrival to see that a hearty group of about fifteen believed, as I, that there’s no such thing as weather too cold, just clothing that is insufficient.

The light, and the combination of and water didn’t produce any amazing effects, perhaps just a hair too much wind at the point.

Up the bay, closer to Durham, we could see some of the mist we were after, but there was none present for us.  Just a clean sunrise with a nice group. Not every morning will be a hit, but you’ll never hit ‘it’ if you aren’t out there.

The best light was right upon arrival, still way before sunrise. The bay was reflecting the civil twilight glow. With the combination of a polarizer, an ND filter, and a GND filter, I came away with what is likely the only keeper of the day.


Afterwords, we went over to the Big Bean in Newmarket for a well deserved hot breakfast!

One Response to ““Dangerous” Cold…”

  1. Good to meet you this morning Jim. You can’t be much of a New Hampshire landscape photographer unless you have good cold weather gear. We need it for so many months of the year. I was similarly impressed with the turnout.

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