Winter Along The Potomac

Winter. To many, it’s a season to dread. The cold, dark nights, the blustery winds, thick blankets of snow are images of which many wish not to think. To a photographer, winter presents another world of opportunity. The prospect of shooting freshly fallen snow, to capture a long forgotten leaf frozen in time along a river’s edge, the contrast of a brilliant red cardinal against a snowy backdrop – the possibilities are endless.

I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t done very much winter photography. Perhaps this is the case since, until recently, I didn’t have the proper vehicle to tackle snow drifts. With a new 4×4 for this winter season, I was geared up and ready to go. But this winter, at least in the Washington, DC metro area, has been abnormally mild. It’s hard to complain about 70 degree temperatures in the dead of winter, but I was hoping for at least a couple of opportunities to take some snow covered landscapes.

Time will tell whether or not we’ll receive any real winter weather this season. Until then, I’ll enjoy the recent mild weather. So what should you photograph on a mild day in winter? Many don’t like pictures of leafless trees, so I decided to focus solely on the rocks and water at Great Falls National Park.

Great Falls National Park, Virginia

Canon EOS 5D, IS0 100, f/16, 24-70mm

For this shot, I was close to the water’s edge and cropped my shot to show only the cascading water and rock. By zooming in on just a portion of the rushing water, I was able to create a more intimate view of the falls.

We’ll have to see what the rest of winter brings, but until then, I’ll enjoy the milder temperatures and begin to dream of spring.

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