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And we’re back!  Although to start off this weekend, I’m stepping back to late February with some snow-filled photos, despite the fact that the snow is now (thankfully) gone from our landscape.

This was one of those Saturday mornings when I simply couldn’t take being trapped indoors anymore, so set off to the park bundled up like I was on my way to the Antarctic and made the best of it.  And let me tell you, nothing warms you up quite like hiking through a good, ankle-deep snow with an icy crust!

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Winter is an interesting time to work in black and white because a lot of the work has already been done for you.  The winter landscape is already covered in white snow and, as the light increases, so does the contrast.  The question just becomes how to interpret the scene, and that’s one of those highly style-dependent personal choices.

On the morning I was out, the sun was shining and even in the woods there was a wide range of tones between pure white and black.  Although it’s worth noting that, while photographing snow presents its own set of challenges, it also gives something back in the sense that the snow itself acts like a giant reflector, providing fill light and lessening shadow areas.

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A couple of my favorites, such as the image above, focused on the snow itself and the interaction it shared with the grasses of Bull Hill.  As the wind blows, the grasses move with it, and their blades make etchings in the snow that are both delicate and surprising in their detail and complexity.

Seeing this detail in the snow becomes a study in light and shadow, in texture and presentation.  (Contrary to the title of this post, one of these photos is in color.  Oh well.)

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There is an undeniable beauty to winter and, as a photographer, I often find myself entranced by it.  Sometimes so much so that I forget about the hardships that come with it, about the fleece-penetrating cold and the biting wind and the tendency for gloomy days and hazardous roads.  And it’s good to remember that despite all those aspects, there is such beauty to it.

But I’m still glad that spring is finally here.

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Brent Pennington is a freelance photographer and the driving force behind The Roving Photographer. When he\’s not working with portraiture or promotional clients, he’s usually in the field, hiking, or kayaking in pursuit of nature and wildlife shots.

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