|Posted by northof44products on January 5, 2012 at 12:30 AM|
January 2, 2012 was a long day of fun photography. When extreme weather events happen I focus less on composition and more on capturing what is going for the moment. I still like to have a nice setting but its not the priority. Snowsqualls are events that happen a lot on the great lakes. It can dump a foot of snow or more in one location and barely touch another. I am currently living in an area that doesn't get a lot of lake-effect squalls unless its from a Northeasterly direction but still gives me a great angle to see all the activity around me. Like thunderstorms I don't always like being in them because the beauty is often found to the front, the sides and the back.
This snowsquall was photographed just south of Vineland, Ontario, Canada. You can see how it has a small thunderstorm look to it. Anviling out and showing good updraft along the side. It even has a flanking line that later developed into an impressive squall as well. Another bonus feature to it that I didn't notice at the time is the sundog that developed at the top. I will show that in the next photograph.
Small little Parhelion at the top of the Squall
I then pushed towards one of the snowsquall makers, Lake Ontario. I watched and photographed the line when I noticed the top cave in on this cumulus cloud and dump all this snow out in the open water. When different weather events happen I have a checklist of locations that I plan to go too. Sometimes I have locations that I want to go to and don't until maybe 2 years after I thought about it, just because the conditions weren't the way I like them until that time. That is usually with my fine art shots that I think years in advance for. I do this a lot with my scenery, aurora and some of my extreme weather photographs. That was my morning photography.
My afternoon photography started off really nicely. I had noticed some thundersnow had been happening south of Lake Erie. I also saw a snowsquall pushing directly into my area and decided to get out the door right away.
It look more like a thunderstorm pushing in at me, then it did a snowsquall. I new that this was going to dump a pile of snow in a very short period of time. It came in with heavy winds and large snowflakes. Comparing this to a thunderstorm in the summer. You can see a couple white areas of precipitation, it reminded me of hail shafts during the summer. Spencer Sills also photographed some very similar looking clouds towards London, Ontario, the same day I photographed this. Spencer and I will be combining for some thunderstorm photography next year.
Using radar I really wanted to get into the heart of this snowsquall so I took off up the escarpment and placed myself where I felt the heaviest snow would be. It didn't disapoint.
It first came in with heavy wind and lots of large snowflakes and then quickly got darker and colder. I could not believe that it was 3pm in the afternoon with how dark it was. I was completely covered in snow but kept shooting. I hadn't shivered all day but this finally got me. It did this for about 10 minutes before it opened up at the back and I could see the sun again. It brought back so many memories of living in the snowbelt. Something you'll learn with me is in the summer the hotter it is, the happier I am. In the winter, the colder it is the better because it leads to different weather experiences and phenomena.
This is a snowsquall that started to disapate after the main one had hit me. If you notice there are some brilliant colours a the top of it. Almost looks like an oil slick. Here is a close up of the iridescent cloud.
I have over 75 different pictures from this day. Showing different types of weather and I wish I could share them all on here. Five made it into my private collectors editions which will be released when I come out with a www.davidtchapman.com website because right now its by appointment. I find that by not having to feel like I have to make everything into an artistic composition that it has taken the pressure off me and my compositions have improved greatly. I live in a very urban area making it look wild can be challenging but it makes going to places like Algonquin Park easy to get outstanding shots from what I have learned down here. I got one scene in 2011 that I had been thinking of for over 4 years and finally the lighting and weather was right for it. Some people may think 75 pictures would mean taking no time on it. Settings to me come very automatic(without using automatic), every scene was done with a tripod, different white balances(Kelvin) Very carefully thought out, just really quickly to after 12 years of doing this as a career.