by Kristel Schneider
Col de la Croix Saint-Robert
As nature was already showing all signs of Spring I decided to go out and take some last winter images. Considering the warmer temperatures coming up this week I think this will probably be the last change for a nice photo day on snowshoes in my area. Last Friday (6th March 2015) I first drove to my favorite valley, Vallèe de Chaudefour, but I was unlucky, the snow was already very soft so I had to walk to the middle of the valley to get some thicker snow. I decided to walk to the end of the valley on my snowshoes and enjoy the nice weather, great walk but no interesting photo-subjects for me, so the camera did not move the whole morning.
After a long lunch break I drove higher up and saw that the road to Col de la Croix Saint-Robert was still closed for traffic, a good sign!
I put my snowshoes on my camera bag and started walking up the closed road, higher up I could see a nice white open landscape . The weather was a bit too sunny, not what I had in mind for my last winter images of the season, but that is also nature photography, you have to work with what you have, you can’t have it all 😉
Knowing the area a bit without the snow, it was handy for me to have some landmarks and interesting point to photograph. For example a group of lonely trees on a hillside, that looked totally different now as it was surrounded with snow. Unfortunately in front of the trees I saw some elements that would be distracting in my frame, so I decided to put myself flat on the floor to try to get an other angle. I used a snowbank for a ‘new’ foreground and looked for lines in my composition.
Another spot I wanted to visit was a group of birch trees, higher up. These trees are always a nice subject for me to explore. At the spot I noticed, by the many snowshoe tracks, that more people had the idea to walk to Col de la Croix Saint-Robert today. The composition I had in mind with the trees was impossible to do now so I had to be creative. With Puy de l’Angle in the background and just a small group of trees in the front I turned around to avoid the tracks in my frame.
I walked to the Puy de l’Angle, overlooking a great winter scenery, ….nobody around…empty, with only the sound of some happy birds in the air and the cracking snow under my snowshoes.
Although I had hoped for a more exciting light, I had a great time exploring the area with my camera. Later in the afternoon, white stripes and clouds appeared in the blue sky and I had to make a decision, wait for a nice sundown or walk slowly back and be home before it got too dark. Looking at the sky I decided to be reasonable and not get disappointed by a closed sky. I took some last images from the winter scenery and I know that next year I will definitely come back, earlier in the season with hopefully more snow and rougher weather conditions!