12.27.15: Snow and leaves

Snow clings to leaves on a branch resting just above the ground, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.


Technical information

Jan. 19, 2014,
11:45 a.m.

40°7’10” N,
82°57'35" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L (52mm) 


1/500th second


Each winter I try to hit local wooded parks after a snowfall to get some snowy landscape photos. I return home cold and empty handed after most trips. I don’t see anything that excites me so I don’t shoot any photos.

My January 2014 trip to Sharon Woods Metro Park was another lack-of-success story for locating interesting snowy landscape scenes. But I didn’t come home empty handed.

I was walking through the woods when I noticed how the wet snow was clinging to the few yellow-brown leaves that remained on tree limbs. I liked the spots of color against the winter background so I tried to grab some shots. Each time the tangle of limbs from surrounding trees and inconsistent lighting led to a cluttered, unattractive image.

Then I saw this small limb that had fallen from a tree and was resting across a log. The thin branches and remaining leaves were suspended about a foot above the undisturbed snow. I pointed the camera at it, looking almost straight down, and immediately liked what I saw. 

The main branch formed a nice diagonal line bisecting the frame, with twigs extending toward the edges seemingly subdividing the image. If not for the seven well-placed snow-covered leaves hanging from the twigs that provide spots of color in an otherwise monochrome scene the image would have looked like cracked ice or cracked white glass.

This was the only usable photo I had to show for three-plus hours of hiking over hills in the cold and snow, but it’s a photo I really like. That makes the trip worthwhile.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.