Monochrome Palette


This time of year, especially following several days of heavy snowfall, the color palette is essentially monochromatic. Bare branches exhibit varying shades of gray and muted brown. Snow is bluish-white under cloudy skies and in the shade, or hues of gold under low-angle sunshine. Even the foliage that peeks through the snow is muted in tone — deep green cold-curled Rhododendron leaves, soft brown dry grasses that haven’t yet been buried, and almost-black conifer needles.

I photographed in Coeur d’Alene today, again under gray skies and intermittent heavy snowfall. I revisited a handful of gardens that were riots of color last summer or autumn. Today, I concentrated on shapes and patterns in the structures and bare trees or shrubs. The photo is of a small Japanese Maple.

Tonight, the wind picked up so the trees may be mostly bare on Wednesday morning.  A little sun is predicted, with more snow on the way for the Spokane area.  I’m heading home if I can get across the pass, which was closed all day today due to high avalanche danger.  It’s been a productive three days of snowy photography.

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