Jim Salge Photography Blog

Images of New England captured in dramatic light and atmosphere

After Snowfall; Without Light…

Last blog post, I talked about the importance of both light to make the image work, and decision making to be at the right scene for the type of light.  Yesterday’s big snows coated the trees, and early on I knew that there was a good chance that the storm pulls away by evening. 

Often, the most spectacular sunsets in winter are viewed on the ends of snowstorms, with snow hanging in the trees, and perhaps even a few flakes falling still.  One of the most idyllic scenes I’ve ever been a part of was during a company Christmas party for my fiance’s work, where we went on a horse drawn sleigh ride at the end of a storm, and the light was incredible.  No camera.  Have yet to duplicate. 

Yesterday I had it in my mind most of the day that I was going to hike up Pack Monadnock for sunset.  But time got short, and the hour got late, and I scaled back my plans to a bit less of a drive, and went to Pawtuckaway’s fire tower with the pup and my buddy Kevin instead. 

The hike up was spectacular.  Nearly a foot of low density powder to snowshoe through, and the pines were bent like a tunnel over the trail.  The climb was about 45 minutes in the new snow, and we took our time to appreciate the scene.  We got to the fire tower with about an hour to spare, with clouds beginning to break up on the horizon, and with plenty of time to scout the shot.

Well, over the course of that hour, the clearing on the horizon line failed to advance.  The clouds stayed put.  There was hope that the sun would find a hole under the low cloud deck and shoot some intense, fleeting rays towards our location lighting up the other ridges of the ring dyke, or the big lake below.  Never happened.  Looking towards Pack Monadnock, the light looked incredible, but it never made it to our location.  Regrettable…but despite careful planning, you never truly know what you will get until you are out there…and I’ll try again for sure!

Anyway…here’s the light I missed, the view from the tower to the Uncanoonucs in Goffstown. 

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