Wednesday, December 11, 2013

shooting snow and staying warm


How do you take pictures of the snow?

It's really trial and error.

Yesterday the sun was shining and the snow was whipping around.  I thought it looked pretty so I wanted to try to get a shot.

So #1 is watch for pretty conditions. Some kind of light, be it the sun or a street light.

I opened the sliding door and did a test shot.

I needed to adjust the settings in my camera.

#2, #3, #4

Set my ISO to 100, metered for the shutter speed, and put camera on manual focus.

Since I was trying to shoot the flakes I needed to make my camera focus in the forefront.  It would naturally focus on the trees and then you would not see the flakes very well. So I focused on the snow flakes when the wind blew.  And shot. (#5)

I got some very blown out pictures and I deleted them.

Then I adjusted my shutter speed by metering in camera and tried again.

I took about 15 pictures and I liked four pictures enough to fiddle with them in photoshop.

That's how I did it.


My tip to staying warm in the winter is a good pair of boots, warm mittens and a scarf.  Lots and lots of wool and down.

If you are going to be at a football game for many hours in the frigid temps...
Emma recommends these;


I'm not quite sure how these are natural?
But they work.

Playground duty. Not so bad... Until the wind blew.

Yesterday I was on playground duty.  I don't wear a hat but I was not too proud to wrap my head in my scarf.

The man in charge of playground duty would not let the children be outside without a hat and gloves.  
The little children who play in the snow must wear snow pants to school.  Katie wore them until 7th grade.

Temperatures below zero keep the kids inside.
Even tho it was only seven degrees yesterday I didn't hear any grumbling from the children.
That makes me happy.  I like to see them running around getting fresh air and using up some of that energy!

My phone tells me that it is -9 in Minocqua Wi. with a high of -2 today.
Even for Minocqua that is a very cold December day.

We started out with a nice 16 degrees today, but by dinner time it will be zero.

One New Years I was up in Minocqua.  I was at a party at some one's house on the lake.
When I left the party and tried to drive away my tire stuck to the snowy, icy ground and ripped right off the wheel. My brother in law had to come out and rescue me...and whoever I was with.  Was it you Cindy?  Thanks, Bink!

Bet you didn't know that could happen!  Nuts.

Well...that's about all for now.

Encourage one another,


  1. Anonymous10:32 AM

    I just love the snowy picture. You always inspire me to take pictures. I like to shoot in manual mode when I'm just playing around.
    I have a pair of Uggs boots that I've had for 5 years now. I wear them all winter long. I think they are worth the money!
    Our school has the same rules for playing outside. It's been way too cold for the little preschoolers to play outside though.
    Stay safe and warm,
    Sarah P. from it's 7 degrees in southern Iowa
    It's supposed to reach 31 on Friday. Isn't it funny how that can feel like a heat wave?

  2. I'm sorry your really cold temps have come so soon. TOO soon. bless your heart.

    (I know people in Fairbanks - where it's colder than Anchorage - who have had their tires freeze square. I need to find out of that is an old wives tale ;-)

  3. I have tried to imagine living in the midwest. Of course, I am wondering how a hot flash gal like me can stay warm in the freezing temps and then pull off enough layers to function in a temperate indoor environment. I imagine bringing a rolling suitcase to hold all my "props."

    And there is a peek into my interesting mind.

    Frozen tire...never even imagined that (-:

    I really love your snow pics so thanks for the details.


    1. Di, did you play in the snow in your yard last week? It has been cold for us here in Northern CA, but tonight it was 60 and warm at the beach at sunset. You would have loved it--no wind and a glowing sun going down.


    2. We STILL have snow, Alison, which is amazing for us. I can feel the ocean breezes in your description. You live in the most beautiful place!


  4. Anonymous12:08 PM

    When we lived in Wyoming I had multiple pairs of silk long under ware that I would put on under my pants and long dresses (it was the fashion to wear our dresses very long back then, so the under ware was covered up by the long wool socks). I remember starting to wear it in Sept. and not stopping until around June. And, I was in the hot flash stage, so I would wear lighter clothing on the outside and take sweaters on and off. I could have used a rolling suitcase. ;-)
    Beautiful imagery today Donna…again! Almost makes me miss the snow until I think about the shoveling. Once it was -40 in Laramie with a wind chill of -60 and they finally closed school for the day. You folks who live in cold areas are tough and I give you my respect!
    love and prayers, jep

  5. I wrote a big long comment and it disappeared.

    It is a balmy 32 degrees here today in Pennsylvania. I just got back from the city. I was slipping and sliding all around the sidewalks today as everyone had not shoveled too fantastically from the storm yesterday. I am glad to be in the nice warm house : ).

    I love your snow shooting tips.

    I am so glad your brother in law came to get you : ). I think nice people are the very best sort.

    If this comment erases I will scream.

    1. Anonymous1:50 PM

      I have been having trouble too Becky…wonder what the problem is other than with me it is having two left "hands" when it comes to computers. Glad you could get your comment to appear today. jep

    2. mary e. from wheaton7:52 AM

      I've been having that same problem for weeks - have written at least a dozen responses (some lengthy and emotional!) only to hit publish and have it go away into the internet ether. Sorry to hear it's happened to you, too, but glad to know it's not just me...

  6. Hi Becky! You're here!!! :-)

  7. Oh my, it's cold where you are today! It's a chilly 30 here in NJ today.

    We have a stomach virus going through our house this week. It's the pits. I had to call out of work today. We are starting to feel better this afternoon.

    Your pictures are lovely, as always!
    The story about the tire made me laugh. Just the image of the tire getting stuck and coming off the car. It is awful though and must have been hard to fix in the freezing cold.

    Have a great rest of the day everyone!

    1. Anonymous1:51 PM

      Robin, praying you will all get well soon. jep

  8. It is very sunny but cold here in Hotlanta. I am happy after 6 days of rainy and overcast skies. I bought everyone battery operated scarves (mini electric blankets--LOL) for Christmas from HSN or QVC ! I have family members who work outside for a living and others who live up north, so I thought it was a good idea. We shall see. I don't know our cut off temp here, but I do know it is not near as low as yours. I think they go to the gym and run laps. Vege soup for dinner with lots of basil and ground chuck added. Happy Days !!

    1. Anonymous2:48 PM

      Oh, I need to get one of those battery operated scarves!!! It was 15 degrees here today, but is dropping to below zero tonight. Brrrrr.

      Stay warm and safe, all!!

      Mary Z

  9. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Thank you for the photo info - I must try again ;-) and NO I did not know tires could rip off, that is NOT Good !! Stay warm and enjoy this blessed season.
    Sandy R

  10. Absolutely love your snow pictures, Donna. I'm going to try your way. I need to learn how to meter, however.

    1. mary e. from wheaton7:49 AM

      me, too! I just don't have that down yet!

  11. Donna,
    It is finally warming back up here in Half Moon Bay. Gorgeous sunset on a windless beach tonight. You would have had much to photograph. Leave the snow behind and come visit!


  12. Such pretty snow pictures!
    When the cold weather comes to Dallas, everyone freaks out. Schools were closed two days because of icy roads. You guys would have just laughed! :)


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