We awoke this morning to one of those "white frosting" snows that coat even the smallest twig with white. As I might have mentioned before, my brain's Pavlovian response to this kind of snow is that it's a mandatory photo opportunity, and that thought has to be obeyed. I never take any good pictures in the snow, but that doesn't stop me.
I did think you might like to see what the field in back of the house looks like today, though:
I need to learn to stop calling it the soybean field, because, according to the neighbors, soybeans and corn are rotated every other year, and '15 is a corn year. So I guess, come the warm weather, it'll be the cornfield. It's bleak today, whatever you call it.
Hope you're staying warm, wherever you are.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
anurag: "My reaction is, how lucky you are. We don't get any snow here in Mumbai. Don't call it a bleak day for gods sake. It must be feeling as lovely as it looks."
Mike replies: It was really lovely this morning, I will say.
Mim: "I love the 'soybean' field. Great minimalistic shot with just the bare trees on the horizon."
Mike replies: Thanks Mim. Do you like this one better, or worse?
(Processed more in accordance with Ctein's recommendations.)
Elisabeth Spector: "The second shot is nice, but I find I much prefer the first image.
"One of my favorite elements is the sky in your first image, where I can actually see the subtle gradations of the clouds that (at least on my monitor) appear to be absent in the second image. The first sky conveys perfectly the feeling of a January day, with its persistent shroud of featureless clouds filtering the weak winter’s light. In the second image, there are no cues to tell me more about the sky and the light, but that bright expanse of nothingness suggest perhaps even a cloudless day, resulting in quite a different and (for me) less compelling mood.
"I also love the tones you've achieved in the trees in the first image—gentle gradations and variations that give the individual trees some real texture, dimension and personality. I find myself trying to 'read' the tree line from left to right and back again. In the second image, the processing has rendered the trees all with a certain sameness and flatness that doesn't invite my closer scrutiny or interest.
"I also prefer the lack of overhead branches in the first image. In the second image, those branches divide my attention too abruptly between the foreground and background and my eye doesn’t really know where to settle, whereas in the first image my eye travels naturally from the foreground to the background in a very pleasing way. And with the foreground greatly truncated in the second image, the tree line is in danger of playing second fiddle to the overhead branches, which don’t seem nearly as interesting.
"Speaking of the foreground, the stubble poking through the snow in the first image seems every bit as important as the other elements. That stubbly field completes a nice set of 'three' in terms of the content (field, trees, sky) and gives my eye some pattern to follow as I look deeper into the image toward the trees. Like the clouds, the stubble provides an element that is instantly familiar and characteristic of winter, and it also gives some clue as to the depth of the snow. I can imagine traipsing through that field, with the sounds of crunching snow and dead grasses underfoot. I also like the fact that your rendering of the snow gives it some welcome texture; it reads as snow and not just as empty white space.
"All in all, the second image feels (to me) as if it might be trying to achieve more of a 'fine art' look, but in doing so it has lost a certain amount of soul. It has a cleaner, more abstract and two-dimensional look that might have a certain reflexive appeal at first glance, but for me it doesn’t wear nearly as well as the first image. I’m still enjoying my leisurely, contemplative viewing of that first image, with its deceptively quiet (but actually quite rich) level of detail and depth and because of the sensations and emotions that it evokes.
"Thanks so much for posting these. I've enjoyed looking at and thinking about them both."
ElArteDePerder: "I like the first one a lot more. I've taken the liberty of tuning it a bit (actually, quite a bit). I hope you like it."
Mike replies: Aha! The Gursky version [g]. It would be against my basic principles to alter a horizon line like that, though. Here is my latest version (different frame):