When winter weather moves across the Plains quickly there’s a brief time between when the snow stops falling and the sky clears up. During that time light from the city bounces up against the low clouds, is redirected downward and makes the snow covered ground glow with an even light. Long exposures reveal a soft light that envelopes the world to show off sights our eyes can’t capture. Combined with ambient man-made lights the overall effect is magical.
At a local lake the other night I set up just as the wind was blowing the clouds away so the city light was varied but the clouds in long exposure gave interesting textures to the sky as the remnants of the fast-moving clouds glowed over the various well-lit shopping areas. This, combined with the few lights in the park, gave me the opportunity to create some interesting black and white images. Don’t be fooled by the illumination – it was quite dark where I set up but 25-50 second exposures just suck in the light to reveal what our eyes don’t notice.