OK, so this’ll be the last of my wining about the missed opportunity with the recent weather.
As the storm was descending upon us on Monday, I set up my Canon G10 in a bedroom window, shooting for a timelapse video of the impending doom. Of course, we all know what happened — not much! — but the video is kinda cool, and the longest timelapse I’ve attempted. I shot it at pretty low resolution, wanting to capture as many frames as possible, so if the power stayed on, I’ve have days of images to put together.
We had power, I had frames, but not much in the way of weather.
There’s two kinda cool things in this video that grabbed my attention. The first is the bush in the foreground bending under the weight of the ice. In truth, I was hoping to get a lot more ice, and see more of that kind of action. The second is the activity around the neighbor’s car as he cleans it off. Also cool, I think.
Oh, and for those folks that are saying I’m not putting enough imagery on the site lately, here’s 14,576 images to tide you over. 🙂
The local news has named the storm: Megasnow 2011!!!
And why the snow-based name? Well, it appears that our event is gonna be more snow than ice. We do have freezing rain coming down like crazy right now, but the low pressure center is deepening, which is bringing in the cold air quicker, making the changeover to snow happen earlier. Oh, we’re still gonna have ice, but it’ll be down in the 1/4″ – 1/2″ range, which should enhance our chances to keep the lights on.
But the snow… oh, the snow! We’ve got a predicted band over us of 9″ to 16″, with areas just 30mi or so north getting 24″ or more. We’ll get the heavier stuff if the thudersnow that’s being predicted takes place. The current hard prediction for Da Lou is 10.8″, with that 16″ number definitely reachable as things progress through today and tonight. I don’t think the snowfall is supposed to stop until sometime tomorrow, which is why we’ve got blizzard warnings and a governor-declared “state of emergency” here. Basically, we’re being told to go now to wherever it is that we plan to be for the duration of the storm — probably 48 hours or more.
Assuming the power stays on, we’re in good shape. Darla laid in a hefty supply of food on Sunday, which should allow us to survive Megasnowpacalypsemageddonpalooza 2011. One of her friends actually picked up the very last dozen eggs in one of the local markets on Sunday!
As this storm has unfurled itself, there’ve been comparisons against the blizzard of ’82 and the ice storm of ’06. One of the talking heads this morning reminded all of us in tv-land that in those two years, the Cards won the World Series.
This morning, the freezing rain began, with everything getting a nice glaze to it by lunchtime. And then things slowed down…. big time. It rained, at 30 degrees. It thundered here and there. And we waited.
All the while, the local government was quite impressive, flexing their “readiness” muscles for all the cameras to see. To my memory, this seems like the most civilly prepared our area has been for something like this since I’ve lived here. And that’s good. This storm doesn’t look like your typical midwest winter event.
From what I gather, we’re due for 1/2″ to 1″ of ice tonight into tomorrow, and then something like 8″ to 12″ of snow on top of that Tuesday into Wednesday, with 40mph winds blowing around the ice-laden power lines and tree limbs.
Frankly, I’m gonna be real surprised if we don’t loose power in this deal. Our power lines in the neighborhood are underground, but the feeders not too far away are pole-based, and out there for the mangling. That’s what happened four years ago, and we were without power for 35 hours or so.
So we wait. Waiting for a big storm, one that the weather service has called potentially historic. For me, I think it’ll mean some ice photography — yay! — and some time spent in my second favorite atmospheric condition (only behind tornadoes). This kind of stuff is pretty rare for Da Lou, and I’m gonna lap it up while it’s still around!
We’ve been hearing for days about a winter storm that was likely to hit the beginning of the week. With us right on the cusp of the early throes of it, the situation is starting to shape up.
For Da Lou, there’s predictions of 1/2″ to an inch of ice, which would be way significant, and as big an ice storm as we had in January 2007. This is shaping up to be big — ice, then big snow, and big wind. I’m fully expecting that we’ll lose power at some point through the event, and that we’ll be cold before it’s all said and done.
This year, we have new windows through a big part of the upstairs, so I’m inclined to think that we’ll retain our heat better than before, but only time will tell.
So today, it’s off to the grocery to get essentials for a few days of being trapped, charging of camera batteries for some shooting, and plans for some timelapse work, probably with the G10. Not sure if I’m gonna try to shoot the ice, the snow, or both, but I’m expecting to fire things up tonight, and see what I get.
During the last ice storm, I photographed some of the best ice I’ve ever seen, and my skills and gear are better now. I can’t wait to see what happens!!!
Cold, cold, cold this morning. And again, watching the weather, we realized that we were only about 100 miles ahead of the storm. Needless to say, we got on our horse early, and started driving before sunrise.
The farther east we got, the foggier it got. And the temperature continued dropping, well below freezing. It was then that I looked at my side mirror, and saw the ice.
The fog was freezing to the Acadia as we plowed ahead. The roads felt ok, so I continued driving, knowing what lay behind us. The sun came up, the temps warmed, and the ice began falling off the car, all of which was good news.
The rest of the way was pretty uneventful, with us getting home after about 630 miles of driving today. And by crossing that distance, we avoided the storm (for now), and got into much warmer air.
We travelled 3087 miles on this journey, didn’t hardly see any meteors from the Leonids, and were chased out of the west by the weather. Yeah, so the trip was a little shorter, but man, I had fun!
After the snow Friday, we were left with a fleeting winter wonderland this morning. At sunrise, I took my Canon 7D and MP-E 65/2.8 macro lens out into the snow to see what I could see.
The gentle constructs of the snow and ice were still just clinging to our forsythia bush, and really attracted my attention. Along the top edge of the thin branches were really cool little ice constructs that were beginning to fall off due to the slight wind and the sun’s peeking from behind the clouds. I knew I didn’t have a lot of time before this ice was gone, so I shot a series of shots — handheld! — with this mammoth lens on the front of the camera.
I was having to capture this at f/8 for to widen the insanely tight depth of field on this lens. Unfortunately, that also meant really long shutter speeds, which didn’t work well when magnified like this in a light breeze, so that meant cranking the 7D up to ISO 800, which gave me a handhold-able speed of 1/320th. Still, I had to put the camera in high speed continuous shooting mode to “spray and pray” for a shot where my wobbling, the wind’s blowing and the lens’ depth of field all came together at the right time. I suppose I could’ve put the camera on a tripod, and used something to clamp the branch in place, but where’s the fun in that? 🙂
In the digital darkroom, I brought the image into Photoshop CS4E, reducing noise with Nik Dfine, adding a couple of control points with Nik Viveza, and finishing it off with the Glamour Glow filter from Nik Color Efex Pro. I’m really growing to like that soft filter look in some of my nature images, and it really seemed to work for this one.
This morning, I awoke to the remnants of the very small snowfall we had late in the week. My favorite glass table on the deck had ice atop it, which prompted me to pull out my Canon MP-E 65/2.8 lens. The more I shoot with this lens, the more I love it… kinda. I mean, it is definitely a lens that takes a lot of practice to use well.
The biggest challenge I’m having with it is in getting the focal plane broad enough by ensuring that what I’m photographic is parallel to the film plane. Any slight angle yoinks the focal plane down to nothing. I’ve got some ideas about how to fix that… stay tuned!
This week’s image is Dark Crystal. Dark Crystal was taken during an ice storm in early 2007. This crystal of ice, perhaps an inch long, was suspended from a gas grill. The color comes from the setting sun as this bold piece of ice grabbed the very last rays of sunlight from that winter day.
Dark Crystal is available in a variety of sizes. Please visit my sales gallery on Zenfolio if you are interested in purchasingDark Crystal.