Being a sterotypical Californian and all, snow is usually a rare and delightful sight. It’s to the point that it can take two, three or more hours to get to the base of the nearest Mountain that’s usually a 30 min drive. People don’t know what to do with themselves. They park in the middle of the street, build snowmen, traspass in people’s yards and slip on ice while the police lurks nearby threatening to tow everyone. Snow is piled in truck beds and sometimes on top of people’s cars. They drive back down to the city and spread good cheer to those who see them.
A few years ago, we found ourselves somewhere outside of California, in the middle of nowhere, down a dirt road and in an open field. There we drifted through the snow and practiced maintaining control of the vehicle in preparation for the coming forecast. Afterwards, it was hard to contain excitement. I jumped out of the vehicle and set my camera on a little box, wanting to capture the sunset glow. This was my favorite. Soon after, snowflakes drizzled around us and landed on the lens. We jumped back in the car and headed our way.
Pictures seem to rarely match the way one remembers something. If they are starting out, the picture may not do justice of what they saw. If they’ve been at it for a while, sometimes the image looks so much nicer than the reality of that moment.
I was disappointed when I saw the shots on a bigger screen. I remembered the sunlit sky glowing intensely in the distance, the sharp contrast between it and the clouds above… and snowflakes dancing around us towards the end. So of course, I added to the picture, showing what I wanted to remember.
Here you can see the sequence. There’s added saturation, brightness increase, color selection to get rid of the yellow tints amongst the ground cover, and layers of fluff.
In case you’re wondering, drifting did benefit us. We later got cut off by a semi in the middle of a blizzard and skid into a ditch. While the truck drove on, a teenager jumped out of her vehicle barefoot to see if we were okay. And surprisingly, after getting towed out, it turns out there was no damage to the car. Even though this is not the craziest snow related situation, (that being driving through a blizzard on a Southern California mountain while boulders fall across the road), it took a while longer to recover.
But here I am, a few years later sharing about the incident.
(Just maybe not too adventurously, ok?)