It is very tough to go out on a photography outing during the winter months especially when the temperature drops below 20 degrees with the wind chill. It can be very difficult to hold onto your camera with the cold weather freezing your hands even with gloves on.
Hell, even finding the right gloves to hold and operate a camera can be a pain to find. Sometimes, though, there a winter days in which the weather is comfortable enough to go out for a walk. That was the case for me last week when it was so nice out temperature wise that I didn’t even need to wear gloves.
Although it was a very cloudy day, there was no threat of rain and I thought the atmosphere would be perfect for winter photos. As for a location for this outing, I decided to return to the Loveless Nature Preserve in Lawrenceville, New Jersey as I wanted to get some winter photos of the place and maybe capture some wildlife.
It was great to be back at the Nature Preserve as I decided to test out my long lens once again. Since I wanted to capture some wildlife without getting too close to them or scaring them off, the long lens was my best option. After a few shots of the entrance to the preserve, I spotted a spider web on a nearby tree branch (Photo Above).
I really cannot stand bugs and I didn’t want to get to close to this web, but it looked really beautiful. Thankfully, I had my long range lens, making this a much easier shot to capture. Zooming in closely, I framed the web in the center and played around with the focus to blur out the trees in the background. It was great to get this shot in the first try as the long range lens really does a great job getting long distance photos.
The comfortable weather helped me explore the rest of the Loveless Nature Preserve and I was able to take photos of areas I haven’t yet discovered. Thanks to the winter season and the leafless trees, I was able to discover even more things like a home apartment in the middle of nowhere (Photo Above).
The cloudy day made this home apartment look like a classic haunted mansion in the middle of the woods. I noticed it right away as I tried plenty of different picture effects on my DSLR camera to make the apartment home as haunting as possible.
The best effect that I used was high soft key in this shot above. I lowered the exposure composition since it was way too bright with another previous setting, but it really helped create this haunting atmosphere. With this photo, you don’t know if it’s safe to go inside “the haunted mansion” or stay outdoors in the creepy woods.
I walked further into the woods, discovering new paths in the preserve and getting brand new photos. I was still bummed that I didn’t encounter any wildlife, specifically some deer as they are common in wood areas like this preserve. Suddenly, I spotted a deer from a far distance as it stared right directly at me! I was thrilled to finally spot some wildlife, but I was cautious to not startle it.
I didn’t move after spotting the deer and quickly zoomed onto the deer before it scattered away. I zoomed to the maximum to get the deer as the branches surrounding it were difficult to spot it at first on the viewfinder. When I looked back at the shot on the LCD screen, I noticed there was another deer!
I looked up to see if my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me and there it was: a pair of deer! The first deer shot had the second deer on the right cut off, so I went to take another shot to frame the pair of deer correctly (Photo Above).
The timing of this shot was perfect as the pair of deer looked straight at the camera and made a perfect pose. In reality, they were probably looking at me with caution. The long range lens really helped me get this shot without even moving and perhaps scarring them.
Unfortunately, in many open places like this preserve you will encounter trash left by pass visitors. I was on my way to leave the preserve as it was beginning to get dark and I didn’t want to get lost. I was walking back on the path I came from as I spotted some trash, but it wasn’t the usually trash like a wrapper from a bag of chips or something similar to that. It was a broken tea cup with left over rain water with a leaf inside (Photo Above).
It was a remarkable thing to see and I think the leaf inside really drew my attention. I pointed the camera down on the tea cup and zoomed in a little while I try to get the best angle of the water leaf inside it. I took a few shots of this tea cup to get the angle I want and this was the best one. I was able to get the rain water leaf in the best angle inside the cup in the middle of the frame while the rest of the leaves on the ground surrounding it.
As I was on my way out of the Loveless Nature Preserve to finish this photography outing, I noticed yet another tree uprooted and timbered over (Photo Above). There were a bunch of trees toppled over in the preserve and it was the first time I’ve seen trees uprooted from the ground instead of just chopped down.
In this shot, I just zoomed in and framed the entire toppled down tree with the rest of the trees still standing. The winter season really help makes this photo haunting and giving it the atmosphere of despair; it’s like looking at a tree graveyard.
Testing out the new long lens on my first official outing with it was a blast. I was able to get shots I wouldn’t normally get with my standard lens and with ease. It’s not to say, though, that I will abandon my standard lens as I did use it for this outing to get easier wide shots.
It’s great, however, to have an option to switch lenses to get the shots I want. It definitely helped me get new and a great photos of the Loveless Nature Preserve as it was another great outing at this place. I look forward to coming back again here soon when it snows and I could really great and spectacular winter photos.
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