How Do You Show It’s Cold?

To say my friends and myself are spoiled when we go out fishing is an understatement. But when the weather service says it will be over 20 degrees and the high ends up being 16, well being spoiled becomes a necessity. There are many ways to show it’s cold out but this image seemed so obvious that I had to take it. Of course with the train going by I feel like we were a bunch of hobos trying to catch dinner but we won’t go there.

Every adventure, even small ones, have lots of facets to it that require lots of images. Some are easy to spot and some aren’t. This one was a no brainer. In order to tell the whole story from travel, to environment, to portrait, Monday’s post covers that one, you have to be shooting. This was a simple click with the D5 and 24-70 f/2.8 but at first I did it wrong because I didn’t use my SB-5000 Flash. After the first click I checked and realized that by using flash, the light would bounce off the snow and add in some fill light needed to bring out the two bums by the fire. With the thick overcast overhead flash was essential.

How do You Show It’s Cold?

We are visual storytellers and sometimes the realities of what is going on at the time the photograph is taken are hard to translate in an image. Temperature is one of the realities. While temperature does effect color it’s still hard to see the difference in just how cold or how hot it was when the image was captured. Now our minds are really good at filling in these blanks with a little help. It goes back to the psychology of the human mind.


While I was out at the river I had sometime to play around with the great landscape available. It was cold the night before as in the negatives cold. That morning it had warmed up to 16 degrees. The results was great hoarfrost and beautiful sunshine. Now this one spot has a natural spring that is warmer then the river. When the two waters meet it creates the steam. It was still so cold that it was actually warmer to be standing in the river then outside the water. Well I love steam. Steam is a great aspect of winter photography that I exploit as often as possible because it’s dramatic and it gives a true feeling to that temperature. I told my friend to go stand by the steam as I fired off the shutter. I did two basic setups, one close in so that there is no sunburst and then wider so to get the sunburst. I was shooting with the D4 and 24-70 AF-S at F/22 to get the star burst effect from the sun, otherwise it would’ve been a bright white dot. This was actually a great day not to have clouds because it brings out more of the color in the image, rather then the drama that would’ve been there if there was clouds. Understanding these elements and how to use them is essential when it comes to winter landscape photography which can be difficult with the overwhelming amount of contrast between light and the cold.

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