On a wintry day in early February I awoke to flakes of snow drifting across the sky. What was brown and gray the day before was bright and white, a landscape that seemed clean and new. I grabbed my camera bag quickly and left knowing I had to capturing this beauty.
Snow is a fickle subject. Too little and it looks like a mess. Too much and it’s hard to travel. In Nebraska there is really only day to photograph snowy scenes. Day two and it begins to look like a muddy mess, usually the result of a warmer day after the snowfall.
The snow was a fair amount, but not too much that it impedes travel. I decided that my destination would be Platte River State Park. Although excited, I drove slowly and carefully.
I arrived at the park in early morning. The snow, never faltering continued to drift across the scene, dots of white punctuating the forest before me. I grabbed my hat and gloves first – nothing is worse than being cold while photographing, then my gear.
I began my hike into the forest and with each step the snow creaked under my feet. I had a specific place in mind – the small stream near the waterfall. The distance was not far, but I took my time and photographed the winter world around me. A slight breeze kicked up and blew some snow in my face, stinging my face with cold briefly. Newly invigorated, I hiked the last few minutes toward the stream.
As I emerged into an opening a soft trickling sound filled my ears. Careful not to get too close, I surveyed the stream looking to set up my camera. I found an area with a few leaves caught in the ice in the water. Liking the splash of color in I knew I wanted to incorporate this in a wide-angle view of the water and the snowy forest. I crouched close to the water and snapped a shot. Happy with the view screen I adjusted the camera slightly and took a couple more. It’s always good to have a couple of extras just in cast there was slight movement or something happened in the scene I couldn’t see on the small screen.
Sitting back I took sometime to take in the scene. Save for the soft sounds from the stream, the forest was quiet and peaceful. I was alone with my thoughts and I enjoyed the serenity. After a few moments with me and mother nature I rose and packed up my gear. I returned home renewed and relaxed.