El Paso Buried in Snow — Christmas 2015


View from Front Yard

View from Front Yard

I’ll continue our journey from Chile with a stop in Paracas, Peru, beginning next week.  But first I wanted to share with you our rare El Paso snowstorm, which started the day after Christmas and didn’t end until nearly noon the following day.  Friday’s blog will feature some favorite shots taken during and after this blizzard, and on Wednesday I’m going to feature some rather fun firearms.

Franklin Mountains in Snow

Franklin Mountains in Snow

You may recall that I posted some hints on how to photograph snow in “Honey, why is the snow so gray . . . and your face so dark?”  The trick, as you’ll recall, is primarily exposure compensation, and today’s photographs are no exception.  These shots, both during the storm and later in bright sun conditions, were taken with a compensation of +1.3 stops to compensate for how snow tricks the camera’s built-in exposure metering.

Neighbors across the Arroyo

Neighbors across the Arroyo

How did I come up with that number?  Experience, mostly.  But I also photographed in raw just to give myself maximum leeway in case I guessed wrong.  I didn’t.  The only post-processing necessary for these shots were tweaks in saturation, contrast, shadow control, color balance, and some cropping.  No tweaking of exposure was needed.

View from the Backyard

View from the Backyard

Fortunately up here on the mountain we get some great views.  Here’s a shot of mountains in neighboring New Mexico:

View of New Mexico Mountains

View of New Mexico Mountains

And here is another of the Franklin Mountains that tower over us:

Franklin Mountains

Franklin Mountains

As for color balance, the camera was set to auto-balance but I found I got better results with the snowstorm photos by switching that to “Cloudy” (5,500K) in post processing.  This removed some of the bluish tint without warming the snow too much.

Ocotillo on Ice

Ocotillo on Ice

In the backyard Eve got a strong dose of snow (statue by David Pearson, “Ascension of Eve“):

Ascension of Eve in Snow

Ascension of Eve in Snow

Fortunately that melted almost immediately following the breakup of the overcast and the welcome arrival of warming sun rays:

Eve Thawing

Eve Thawing

Our neighbors’ house got quite the dusting on the parapet of their beautiful Santa Fe-style home:

Neighbors' House

Neighbors’ House

Of course our own front balconies were not immune to accumulation:

Balcony View

Balcony View

And I’m sure the desert plants will enjoy the moisture as well:

Desert Plants

Desert Plants

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3 Comments

Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker

3 responses to “El Paso Buried in Snow — Christmas 2015

  1. Pingback: El Paso Christmas Weekend Snowstorm - WaltherForums

  2. Looks like you got all the snow the rest of us have been missing.

    Anyway, happy new year to you and yours.