I’ve been waiting all winter for the conditions to be right to visit several eastern Washington gardens when there’s lots of fresh snow. Today (January 27) I hit the jackpot as Spokane received near-record snowfall of up to 12 inches while I was out photographing. It would have been better if the temperature had been a few degrees colder and snow a little drier, but it was still a fantastic day.
The garden shed shown here is in Cathi and Dave Lamoreux’s back yard on the far south edge of Spokane. The snow in their yard was over a foot deep and getting deeper seemingly by the minute.
Photographing in the snow presents some challenges that don’t exist in warmer conditions. First, I had to keep my camera covered to keep it dry. I used a cheap plastic rain cover that cinches down around the lens and allows me to see the LCD on the back through the plastic. There’s a little hole for the viewfinder, and I operate the controls through the plastic. It’s a bit awkward, but workable.
The biggest challenge is one of planning. With no snow on the ground it doesn’t matter much where the photographer walks, as no evidence remains. But when there is snow, every footstep has to be planned so they don’t show up in some future shot. I find myself spending extra time thinking ahead to what other angles I’m going to want to capture before I start walking around.
When the weather is as warm as it was in Spokane today â€” right around freezing, staying warm while working really wasn’t much of an issue. Long underwear, rain pants, and a waterproof parka did the trick to stay warm and dry. Basically it’s just like dressing for any other winter outdoor activity in snow country.
I plan to spend another couple of days photographing Spokane gardens before heading back across the mountains. It’s predicted to get colder and maybe a little more snow, so conditions should remain favorable. But the only way to know for sure is to look out the window in the morning.