My way to work from home takes me through a relatively rural area on the outskirts of Munich. Many mornings have I witnessed beautiful sunrises, but one day about a month ago the sunrise was really epic. Ti was the first time I ever saw several people stopping at the side of the road to photograph it with their mobile phones. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me and my mobile phone leaves much to be desired when it comes to inbuilt camera. After that missed opportunity I resolved to have my camera in the car with me every morning I go to work. I am still waiting for another epic sunrise, which will surely come eventually. In the mean time, about a week ago it snowed here in Munich. After a couple of snowy days the forecast was for a clear morning. So I geared up with heavier jacket, shoes for the snow and camera gear and left a bit earlier that morning hoping to stop at a nice location on the way to work and photograph some trees with the snow and ice glistening under the sun during sunrise.
As you can see, the sun didn’t come out (it tends to become a pattern lately), but there was some heavy fog, which in combination with the snow made for some interesting photo opportunities. So I parked the car changed shoes picked up the gear and started looking for interesting scenes. The first think I have to say about that photo session: Freaking Cold! -6 degrees Celsius is too cold for photography without gloves. At some point my right hand fingers were so frozen that I couldn’t even press the shutter button. Truth be said, after about an hour the situation seemed to improve but at that point it was time to go to work.
The location is right by the road, so I didn’t have to walk far. I am not sure exactly what this is, but there are some trees planted there on these mounts of ground that are a bit higher up than the rest of the fields. I took a couple of general shots and then focused on some close ups. I had set WB to Cloudy and the photos came out fairly blue. I warmed up the color temperature a bit during post processing but I chose to preserve the blue tint to a degree on all photos to convey how cold it was. The only exception is the one photo above, with which I experimented a lot and settled on a B&W look.
After a few general shots, I focused on some specific trees. Here I was drawn by the corridor formed by the trees and the lone brown tree in the middle. I ended up post-processing this photograph considerably, so what you see now is quite different from the original unprocessed shot. I like this one much better though.
I then focused on some close ups of the ice gripped tree branches.
Finally, as I turned back to go, I saw that the fog had thickened and this row of trees about 100m away was barely visible from where I was standing. I took the photo and then at home did considerable post processing, alternatively increasing contrast and exposure to make the trees a bit more visible.
All in all, a nice short photographing excursion, just 100m from my car on the way to work and a very good way to start the day. The sun finally did break through the clouds about an hour later, but by then it was too high in the sky for a sunrise photo. The same night when I was driving back home and passed by the same location I saw that the snow had almost completely melted. So I was doubly glad I had stopped and not missed the opportunity.
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