It Could Have Been a Blizzard!

The days of autumn and Indian Summer are officially over and it's not even Thanksgiving yet!  Old Man Winter must have missed us all summer and decided to start his visit earlier this year.  Um...I wasn't ready!  

Good news for you...I have pictures of horses in the snow (mostly Frederick, but there's a perfectly good reason for that!  I'll do better next time, I promise)

What I'd like to do in this blog is to show you my before and after shots because taking pictures in the snow tends to make them a little soft and for some of them you want the subject to stand out a bit more.  In the end, it is all what you are looking to create as the mood for your shot.

The behind the scenes story:

It was cold that morning (in the teens) and although it was sunny there was a brisk wind.  Fred is the Princess of the farm and her pasture has only our front shop to act as a north-wind breaker for her.  She also does not get a thick furry coat like the other horses (so dainty of her...hence her Princess badge!) so I decided to go ahead and put her turnout blanket on her and turn her out for the day.  I would be home mid-afternoon and planned to bring her in earlier than regular feeding time.  That would make her feel special ;)  

I went to yoga class, cleaned the studio then met my husband and some friends for lunch.  About halfway home, it got very cloudy and started to snow and all I could think about was, "FRED!!!!!"  I knew she would be running along the fence wondering where I was to bring her inside.  I got my Carhartts on, bundled up and grabbed my camera.  This is what she looked like as I headed out to get her.  All I did here was to crop it and I did clone out a fence post.  I wanted the blurry look to sort of hide her in the blowing snow.

Once I brought Fred inside, I headed out to get a few shots of the other horses.  The only one available was Frederick...the others were inside the barn behind him.  Frederick is only 2-1/2 years old and he is the lowest in the pecking order so when the others stand inside the barn, he won't push his way in, too.  He just stands outside so when the weather is bad, Fred and Frederick get to stay in their stalls.  The others have their shelter and it helps keep my stall cleaning minimized.

                          Here I only cropped the shot

I did manage to walk out into the pasture to get some pictures of him in the snow ... yes, as he walked toward me!  I love this one of him with his eyes shut against the snow!

 (No edit here)

              Here he comes....

I didn't bring him in right away, I wanted to snap a few more of the wind in his mane.  Here are some before and after shots.  In each one I only adjusted the highlights and shadows and a little of the contrast to bring him out of the snow brighter.  They look more dramatic, that's for sure.

Which do you like better?  

I'm a Libra and can't decide...I like them both!

Before and After edits

Inside the barn...

I had purchased a new protective cover for my camera and was using it to keep the snow off of Fiona.  I found it to be bulky, difficult to work the zoom and hard to look through the plastic and the viewfinder or back of the camera view.  It did help to keep my camera dry and my hands out of the wind but it will take a few more practice runs before I get used to it.  Frederick finally made it into the barn!

That is not steam coming off his back...the lens got some snow drops on it and with the camera being inside that cover and the fact that my fingers were pretty numb at this point I neglected to notice it and clear it off.  It just goes to show you what can happen that might turn out okay!

He looks pretty content to be inside!

This is the golden late afternoon light shining into the barn making his mane look much like Bob's!

With frozen fingers I wasn't deterred...the lure of the beauty of the blowing snow and the contrast of the blue, cloudy sky when the sun peeked out from behind the clouds was too much to ignore so I went out front and got some of the areas surrounding our little farm.

We like to call it The Tundra!  With no trees or texture to the landscape, the wind just howls right across the fields.  I was just thankful we only had about 3 inches of snow and no more.  It was definitely ALMOST a blizzard!

The Tundra

Again, here are some Before and After edit shots.  In these, I simply increased my shadows to bring out the outline of the trees and sharpen the image.

Before and After edits

At this point I was pretty well frozen and headed inside to warm up.  Sorry there is no picture of about this reminder of warmer days instead?

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