The most difficult part of winter photography is access. The simplicity of snow, barren subjects, and extreme conditions make winter the best season to shoot in my eyes. Unfortunately, those elements are often restricted and impossible to reach because they are actively affecting the environment with their beauty.
I headed up the mountains on a day where low cloud was moving fast, and occasionally cutting off the direct sunlight. The plows were out shifting the snow from a few areas, but ultimately SR-14 was basically two lanes with 5-10 feet of snow on either side. I kept searching for anywhere to pull off, but the height of the snow was too much for my little car. My eyes were fixated on the snow around the Navajo Lake and Duck Creek areas. Mounds of pure white rose over the landscape of what is normally harsh lava rock looking much like dunes in the desert. The direct light was catching the mounds beautifully, and I knew I had to find a way to get to them. I parked in a recently plowed section around Navajo Lake and took a 1/2 mile walk to the mounds. The snow banks to the mounds were about 4-5 feet tall, so I had to trudge through waist to chest high snow to get to a ridge where I could stand. The light was fading flat fast, but to me it somewhat helped the mounds take on a more ethereal look. I made a prominent mound in the lower right my main subject, and let the others fall to abstract texture. The moment was cold and quiet surrounded by haunting aspens, and it felt delightful. I just have to remember that when access seems impossible in winter, there could be a way right around the corner.
_ @canonusa 6D Mark II
_ @canonusa 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 IS II
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