Another Snow Day on the Campus of Purdue University

Yesterday morning I was trying to think of something to photograph. I packed up my bags for a couple of ideas. I was going to check the river to see if I could spot any eagles, and if that didn’t work out I was trying to think of a quadcopter┬álocation to photograph. That all changed as I pulled my car out of the garage. A heavy snow started falling, and I decided to head quickly to campus. My new Think Tank quadcopter bag has a spot for my dSLR so I was already packed for the trip. As luck would have it I found a friend on campus, and made the walk with him. I love the campus of Purdue. It was beautiful when I was going to school here, and it is still just as beautiful. It was one of the reasons that moving back to the Purdue area was such an attractive idea. When it is snowing the campus just looks even better. I knew that by basically just pointing my camera in any direction I would end up with some images that I liked.

Photographing With a Friend

As luck would have it as I was just starting my photowalk today I stumbled upon another photographer doing the same thing. We made the quick trip around campus together. The snow was coming down like crazy, and it is always interesting to me how another photographer takes in a scene. My walk with Tom Crockett was awesome because I realize how many things I will just walk by. Sometimes you just pick something else as your focal point in a scene. Immediately upon walking down this path Tom spotted the trees and went for them. You can see his photo here. I had a wider view in mind, and so I made us both wait for someone to walk through. Luckily that happened fairly quickly, and you can see the result of my photo. I think we are all still learning so it is interesting for me to see what others do. I had a lot more fun on my photowalk because I had someone to bounce some ideas off of.

Photographing the Snow

When I had my first dSLR I couldn’t figure out why my snow photos didn’t look as cool as I thought that they should. By sheer chance I was in auto mode one day and the pop up flash went off. Those photos in my driveway looked so much cooler than any of the others that I took. Ten years later I am still using flash, but in a slightly different way. I put my speed light on my camera in TTL mode. The camera is smarter than me most of the time, and TTL mode lets the camera decide the power to use.

More Photos From the Walk

Below are a few of my other favorite photos from my walk around campus. I did not have much time to get around, but I tried to make the most of it. I stubbornly waited for a few scenes to develop the way that I thought they should, and it paid off a couple of times. As I said before this is a beautiful campus, and this year I have decided that I need to show that off a little more.

Continue reading “The Snow Falls at Purdue University”


Today I went out to a location that I had been scouting with this exact picture in mind. I saw this scene on the way to the windmills one night, and never got back with snow on the trees. I really thought that this picture could have looked better. That seems to be a theme lately. I do have a great idea for this shot, but I really need to get better at seeing that on the scene. Of course I was on a well traveled road that was snow covered here. I really had very little time to get this shot. The more I look at this though the more I like it.

I woke up this morning thinking that I could get a great snow picture. Last night the snow kept coming down, and I thought that the trees would be covered. I have a spot picked out for when the snow finally covers some trees. I started down the road to the spot I had in mind when I realized that the snow was not as plentiful as I had hoped it would be. While the snow wasn’t deep it was very cold. At the time I was shooting I was amazingly cold, and I realized that it had to be colder than I thought it was. I checked my phone and the wind chill was two below. I knew that I had to get a picture early today so I just went to the top of a familiar garage. I tried to get a different angle than I did a couple of weeks ago when I took a night shot here. I was hoping for a little more, but I just did not see anything that really jumped out at me. I was also not dressed for the weather so the shoot was a quick one. I took my customary six images to make an HDR, but I liked this single image enough that I didn’t even process the other shots. I think that I am using HDR too much so I need to slowly ween myself off of it. I am supposed to be learning here, and while I have learned a lot using HDR I think that I need to pull back a bit.

Today was a dreary day here in West Lafayette. When it wasn’t snowing again it was just a dull day. With no sun and the majority of the snow blown away I really had nothing to shoot. I saw a beautiful tree shot last night, but I knew I already had my shot for the blog. I left work today to head back to where I saw the tree scene. I actually passed it because it looked so different today. After trying a couple shots I decided to head home with nothing in the camera of worth. I saw what was to be my shot, but the snow was gone leaving it barren. Just down the road is a barn that I have been wanting to shoot. I saw a good angle of it that I could shoot from my car, but of course cars were coming. Who drives on a road anyway? Don’t they know that I am taking pictures. I snapped six quick ones from the location that you see in order to make an HDR image. That image looked okay, but it just looked too monochrome for my taste. I decided that since it already looked black and white that I should just finish the job with Photoshop. In the end I got a picture that pretty much sums up my short time out shooting today. The black and white saved a dull image. For some reason I really like how this turned out with the color removed. The scenes are beautiful when the snow freshly falls, but when it has sat and gotten dirty it does not look so good. With time on my side tomorrow I hope that I can have another productive Saturday. I have had a couple of good weekends in a row shooting.

Tonight I got off work with one thing in mind. I wanted to capture the sunset or the glow just before on the snow and the windmills. The light didn’t seem right, but it quickly started to turn in my favor. I really didn’t like the results of just my regular shots. To get the sky right the foreground was too dark. I decided to try and HDR from one RAW shot. Of course I couldn’t do a normal HDR shot because the windmills were moving tonight. This was another learning experience that didn’t go according to plan so I fell back on my HDR techniques. The clouds came out a little dark, but overall I like how this shot turned out.

Today is the last day in double digits for this blog. I really can’t believe that I have gone 99 days in a row taking at least one picture. Anyone who knows me knows that I took many pictures on multiple days so far. Today on my way home I saw this great scene just in between where I live and work. I parked off of the road, and decided to hike the half block to where I took the picture. I thought the hike would be easy, but I guess I didn’t factor the snow in for some reason. It was not easy to trek around in my work shoes, but I made do. I took a series of six pictures like I normally do, and in the viewfinder realized that I did not have enough from the underexposed spectrum. I went out today to get a picture of a drift because in the past they never looked good enough. I wanted to give HDR a try because the snow and sky would not have to be blown out to make the other objects look good. With that in mind I took a series of nine pictures to stitch together. I like how it turned out, although I think it could have been better. I have learned a lot in the first 99 days of this endeavor, and I look forward to learning even more in the coming months.

Today while on my way back to West Lafayette I saw some huge snowballs on the side of the road. After a quick turnaround I came face to face with the world’s largest snowballs. Actually they were large hay bales with a white covering, but I thought that they looked good nonetheless. I already thought that I had my picture of the day in the can when I drove by here, but I thought that it was just odd enough to make the blog. How often do you see five super sized snowballs on the side of the road? I have been having way too much fun with HDR lately. My nifty fifty should be here tomorrow so I might have something different tomorrow.

As I said before I actually thought that I had my picture for the day. I posted two other pictures on both my Facebook and Flickr pages.

When I saw this combination tonight I knew that it would have to look good in HDR. In one shot you have so many textures that it had to be my shot tonight. I thought that this shot would get lost in the shuffle as the sunset looked like it would be great as the clouds sort of broke up at just the right time…almost. Of course they came right back in just before an awesome shot could happen. Tonight I just missed the sky lighting up. I guess shooting a picture everyday will allow me to see that sunset one of these days. In the end I fell back on this picture that I took early in my drive tonight. I love how HDR brings details to the forefront. With the absence of color after the leaves fell I have been shooting more HDR lately. I love how the first substantial snowfall is also visible in this shot. It was snowing all day, but as I got off of work it changed to rain. I managed to get out while the white was still on the ground before it changed to slush. On the way back home I found a great barn to shoot later, but with a shot in the can I was ready to get home. The barn will show up later on this blog.

Edit: For some reason the picture does not show up on my computer. I am not sure what is going on. I have inserted it multiple times with no change. I will check again tomorrow to see if anything changes. A photoblog is just not the same without the photo.