Knowing fully well that it was supposed to snow yesterday, to be honest I really only expected to see a few flurries swirling in the wind. Instead, at about midday I looked out the window from my office and realized there was close to two inches of snow laying on the ground. Grabbing my camera, keys, and jacket, I dashed out the door and into my truck to headed out to find horses. One of the advantages of living in Carova Beach is that ability to capitalize on situations like this in a moments notice.
With low light from the heavy cloud cover, the camera inevitably tries to slow things down. This gives something of an artsy feel to the falling snow, but might as well be rain for all the viewer knows unless there are other very obvious clues in the image. Snow was covering the horses as it was falling faster than they had a chance to shake it off. This gives an obvious cue, but means that slowing down the shutter would only create a blurred mess of the image. Therefore in order to compensate for this, I simply cranked up the ISO and shot with as large an aperture as I could get away with while maintaining detail in the areas I wanted it. This combination created the feeling of a soft gentle snow around the horses, whereas in reality, the snow was coming down so hard I could only manually focus on the horses.
Horses were surprisingly in the dunes as well as the forest during this winter storm. Though this is unusual during this time of year, the low mast of acorns from the live oaks means that horses are being forced out of their usual winter haunts and into other areas to eek out a living the best they can. The horses up in the dunes created a unique feel, but with gray skies, the falling snow I knew would be almost completely invisible. The falling snow with these horses was what I was really after and therefore to accomplish this I knew I stayed back up in the forests and looked for them in small clearings so as to use the dark background to my benefit.