All claim to sanity forsaken


Here we are then, the next exciting instalment about my snow sessions (this post refers). And I’ve just about reached the conclusion that I’ve forsaken all claim to sanity, or anything remotely resembling it.
For, in the absence of anything better to do, having spewed out my inner thoughts regarding whether or not I’d be foolish enough to decide to wander out this morning (um… yesterday morning probably, by the time I post this… Thursday, that would be) for yet another batch of snow pics I then found myself becoming increasingly preoccupied by the idea.

Playing through, in my mind, the various preparations required for the adventure the thoughts almost seamlessly and unnoticed transformed themselves into actions and hey presto, there I was, all kitted up and ready to go.

So I did.

Well, I managed to trudge about halfway to my destination when it suddenly dawned on me that, despite my having thought through all the preparations, I’d still managed to overlook one vitally important bit of kit… the lens sleeve!

For those that don’t already know, my particular lens sleeve is an invaluable and highly technical item designed to seal the lens against the ingress of moisture… essentially its a plastic freezer bag with the bottom cut off, fixed with a couple of hair bands! My first experiment with it wasn’t terribly successful (the sad details in this post) but I’ve used it a few times since then and it works fine.

So I wasted the next 25 yards or so mulling over whether I should go back for it or not. After all, I was carrying the mini-brolly with me to try out and surely that would keep the moisture off. Wouldn’t it?
But finally decided its better to err on the side of safety, so about-turned and trudged back home again.

Lens sleeve securely affixed, off I set once more, following a strange set of footprints in the snow that looked suspiciously like mine, toward my intended destination… pretty much the middle of a field. (Why do I always seem to end up in fields? I have to ask myself.)
And in the process re-learned something else I’d forgotten… just how tiring it can be wading through thick snow. Good exercise for the old ticker though I suppose. As some equally lunatic person I happened across in the field remarked to me (not that lunatic maybe… a lady walking her dog actually).

Time to set up then, and give this umbrella jobbie a go. When I suddenly remembered why I’d given up on the idea last time I tried it.
Its a bit… er… awkward. Just about works if one’s hand-holding the camera, but its a real pain when using a tripod… certainly fixed the way I was using it at least. Maybe if I could rig up some sort of gubbins to actually attach it to the tripod there’d be some mileage in it. Hmm.
Anyway, umbrella shoved back in pocket I relied exclusively on the lens sleeve to protect against the still lightly falling snow. Thank heaven the camera itself is waterproof.

(At this point I was gonna waste a para or two singing the praises of the GX10, which is fast becoming my stalwart friend. But changed my mind cos if I did I’d probably jinx it.)

And then set about the clicky business. The first batch of shots were a complete waste, cos the lighting was abyssmal. It was still just barely light (no street lights here in the middle of the field… dunno why; but then, if there were I suppose they’d be called “field lights”) and whilst normally that wouldn’t bother me overmuch the snow played havoc with the white balance… or so I thought!
Didn’t realise it at the time of course, but discovered it very rapidly once I came to processing the pics. No matter how much I tweaked and tinkered in Lightroom I just couldn’t seem to re-create the scene as I remembered it. They all looked just… well… horrible. So I ditched the lot of them.

The next batch were somewhat better, even though the day appeared to have only marginally lightened. Clearly sufficient though I still can’t say I’m overly impressed by any of them.

And my stupidity constantly amazes me. For knowing snow’s white I’d convinced myself that my snow had to be white. And spent hours upon hours, literally, trying to achieve precisely that.
Process a batch, sweat blood and tears over them, upload them to Flickr.. and they’re all rubbish. So delete the lot and start again.
Did that four times! And when I did manage to get the snow itself properly white, the rest of it looked totally wrong.

Then this morning (Friday) it snowed yet again (and yep, I’ve got even more pics to sort through!). And so I made a point of closely observing the colour of the snow, the sky, and pretty much everything else. Not what I thought it should be, or “know” it to be, but how it actually appears. And realised that at that time in the morning (and I’m talking early here) snow doesn’t look white at all! It looks blueish, or cyanish, or its greyish, depending upon what the sky’s doing and how far advanced the morning actually is. One thing its definitely not is white… nor are the surroundings for that matter. Snow doesn’t get to appear really white until later in the day, and then only if the sky/light is “right”.

Bloody idiot! So back to the drawing board once again, and basically simply go with what I originally had.
I dunno… I’m not at all certain I’m really cut out for this photography lark.

Anyway, I’ve now come to the conclusion that I much prefer shooting snow when its sunny and there’s a bit of colour in the pics, rather than this early-morning manky off-white type stuff.



About fotdmike

Occasional photographer; occasional writer/blogger; occasional activist; occasional computer-geek. Bit of a fool really.
This entry was posted in Adventures, Photography Chat and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to All claim to sanity forsaken

  1. forkboy says:

    The important thing to remember is that you learned something from this outing.

    You learned that you, tripods and umbrellas do not mix.

    You learned that the highly reflective snow can actually be whatever colour it is reflecting instead of being white. (I won’t bother to mention how obvious this should have been because I frequently miss the obvious myself)

    You learned that it is likely you will drop dead one day while tramping through 8-inches of snow in some field.

    Isn’t that all just grand?

  2. fotdmike says:

    Oh, I’m always learning. The problem I have isn’t with learning so much as with remembering what I’ve learned. If I could only remember that I never remember what I learn I could just give up trying to learn anything in the first place. Be a lot simpler cos I never remember it anyway. Or did I just say that?

    As for the snow thing, yeah, totally obvious, which of course I knew already. But somehow I became fixated on the idea that the snow had to be white. So obsessed had I become with it that I spent a good coupla hours Thursday morning fiddling with the pics, something close to seven hours Thursday night/early Friday morning, and at least another hour later Friday morning in more fiddling until, having seen some other snow pics on a friend’s Flickr I began to notice the intrusion of a sneaking suspicion that what I was trying to achieve was probably neither practical nor faithful to the original scene. Which I then confirmed for myself by peering intently at even more snow that was then falling.
    Sometimes I think I’d really welcome a clout over the head with a pool cue, if only to knock a bit of sense into this brain of mine.

    The positive thing to come out of all this though is proof that this blog’s very aptly named!

  3. tam says:

    “I’m not at all certain I’m really cut out for this photography lark”…Um, yes you are!

    I love the idea of the lens sleeve. I told Brad about. He wants to know where he can get one 😉

    HA! Great pictures. The snow is beautiful.

  4. fotdmike says:

    Well, cheers Tam. 🙂

    And the lens sleeve’s a must in weather like this (unless one can afford a pro weather-resistant lens). Gotta confess it wasn’t my invention… suggested to me by another photojourno-type mate, but it works a treat. Only thing to remember is its gotta be “baggy” enough to allow room for the lens to extend.

  5. forkboy says:

    You can find all sorts of lens sleeves at

    And your constant and diligent work on sussing the snow colour issue is only further proof of your OCD nature!

  6. fotdmike says:

    Yeah, I know you can buy lens sleeves… but what’s the point when you can make a perfectly serviceable one yourself, and for only a few pence (cents?)?

    And as for my “constant and diligent work” etc… all that proves is I just prefer to sus things out for myself rather than having it spoon-fed to me by someone else. I quote:

    “I’ve been contemplating a course in photography. Unlike the ever-so-difficult fotdmike character, I think I would enjoy the opportunity to learn more about photography and what I can do to improve my understanding of both my camera as well as the creative process.”


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