Winter Finally Comes…

It finally happened. For the first time since my arrival in this state, we have snow. Not just a couple flakes, but actual snow building up on the roads and plants. Me being me, at the first sign of the white stuff I bundled up and headed to the backyard. (You can see my first attempt at photographing snowflakes here.) Unfortunately, the temperature was a little warmer out there than in the front because of the hills, so I had to head to the front of the house with all my gear.

Now, I should probably mention that my gear includes not just my camera with a macro lens (super-close-up), a big tripod, a remote control for the camera, an umbrella to protect the camera, and the background I was using for the snowflakes. I should also mention that the “backgroundd” is the only piece of black velvet (which provides the best background for such photos) I could find: one of my best shirts. So there I was, on the front porch for all the neighbors to see, holding an umbrella using my shoulder and neck, spreading a relatively expensive shirt on a bush, and then taking pictures of it. Oh, what they must think!

Later, as evening was falling, I turned on the porch light as I do each night so Brian can easily find the lock to let himself in. As I reached for the switch, I saw the other switch. The one connected to the outside power outlet that we used for the Christmas lights. The lights which, by the way, we still haven’t gotten around to taking down. We don’t light them anymore, so we keep forgetting to bring them in. I thought about the couple of inches of snow built up on the same bush I had spread the shirt on earlier today. I tried to talk myself out of it: really I did… But, I just had to go for it. I headed once again to the front porch with all my “gear”, this time in the dark, lit only by Christmas lights, in the middle of January. And there I stood as the neighbors were coming home from work.

When I had taken all the photos I was interested in I headed inside, proud of my impromptu outdoor studio. I did find out, though, that I really should have taken time to put on a coat. As I said, one of my pieces of equipment was an umbrella to protect the camera. Since my head is close to my camera, my head was also dry. However, for the shots I was taking I had to bend every so slightly forward, which was no big problem. Until, that is, I came inside. It was then that I realized that part of me hadn’t quite been protected by the umbrella. It wasn’t my front, or my top. You figure it out. I wonder: is this what they mean when they talk about suffering for your art?

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