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on Apr 5, 2010 in B&W Photography, Landscape Photography

The Maisel Challenge

Last week at the Art of Digital (PSW), Jay Maisel had an image that was kinda cool and his only comment to it was, “I was so happy I captured a snow flake.” Wow, that was just down right cool. Then the thought struck me, “Hey dork, you live where it snow A LOT! Where’s your photo of a falling snow flake?”

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Snow, it was snowing today and being stuck behind the desk, it wasn’t until near the end of the storm I remembered the challenge.

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I grabbed the 24f1.4 AFS for this project. I thought its narrow DOF would help isolate the snow flake. There is actually one pretty darn sharp here but the problem is, even with the minimum DOF, you can’t see it. How did I shoot at f1.4 in sunlight? I dialed the ISO down to L1 so I had a shutter speed of 1/8000.

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And in this photo, I have a whole bunch of sharp snow flakes but you can’t see them. And there lies the biggest and now most obvious problem. The snow flakes are white and against the white sky, you can’t see them. Duh! So, while I failed the Maisel challenge I feel I came out ahead because in the next storm, I have two pieces of the puzzle required for success. Doesn’t mean I’ll win next time either with that information, but I’ll be closer. That’s how my photography tends to evolve and slow and easy wins the race.

Photos captured by D3s, 24f1.4AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film