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Snowy Sentinels: Sierra Nevada winter

Three Trees in Snowstorm, Kirkwood Ski Resort
snowy senteninels, tree, sierra nevada, snow

“Juniper Spire” and “Snowy Sentinels” are offered for sale for the month of December 2020.

Key information:

  • Sizes: 12 x 18″
  • Matted? Yes
  • Border: No
  • Paper: Archival Luster
  • Printer: Canon Pro-10 with archival inks, printed by the artist
  • Date of Images: “Juniper” (3/3/14) and “Snowy Sentinels” (10/24/14)
  • Limited Edition? Yes, 1 of 50
  • Signed: Yes, on back
  • Certificate of Authenticity? Yes
  • Price: $75 (Contact me for pricing on smaller/larger sizes) 10% of net profit a donation to RED, the sub-saharan organization fighting AIDS.
  • Shipping and handling: $5.95 for mail tube, $10.95 for flat in the U.S. Contact me for international shipping. Will deliver free locally up to 30 miles radius.

“Juniper Spire,” Olympic Valley Resort

I was fortunate enough to spend seven years growing up in Edmonton, Alberta. Like many Canadians, I was a fiend for snow sports, downhill skiing being my favorite. I happily cut my Canadian teeth learning to ski in the Jasper and Banff areas in the gorgeous Rocky Mountains,

For the past 26 years years, however, Iʻve skied the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Kirkwood, Heavenly, Sugar Bowl, Northstar, Alpine Meadows and Olympic Valley (also known as Squaw Valley, but is the process of being renamed). Host to the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is a beautiful resort with a huge array of bowls, moguls, and amazing vistas on a mammoth mountain.

One overcast day in March of 2014, I was coming down a run around mid-mountain and this elegant tree caught my eye. Iʻve always found bare trees in the snow to have a sculptural quality about them and this one, perched on a rocky outcropping, was no exception. I took out the sporty little Lumix I was skiing with that day, worked on my settings to get some good depth of field as possible and made a few pictures from different angles (always a little awkward on skis). This was the winner!

“Snowy Sentinels,” Kirkwood Resort

Later in the year, I headed up Highway 88 with De and my mother to Kirkwood Resort. Kirkwood gets more powder than any of the other resorts, and skiing there always feel more wild and remote to me. Itʻs a lovely mountain. In late October, the ski season had not yet begun, so the place was nearly empty.

My mother, who lived with us for several years in Sacramento, had never been to the Sierra Nevada. Having grown up in Quebec and then living in Edmonton, she was also a big fan of all things snow. We were so excited to learn that the forecast was for a late fall/early winter snowfall. Sure enough, the snow came in strong and I grabbed my camera and headed out to shoot in the middle of the storm.

Be prepared!

The snow was coming down thickly, which makes it tricky to keep lens glass dry (of course, you want to have a weatherproofed camera as well). I try to keep my camera under my coat until itʻs time to shoot. I also have a silly rainbow umbrella hat I wear sometimes that keeps off rain and snow flakes. Additionally, I keep a clear bag that can fit over the camera and different lenses. Another trick I learned when shooting the Northern Lights in Alaska is to put your camera in a ziplock bag when you head back inside to prevent condensation from getting into the cameraʻs circuits.

As I was wandering around in the quiet beauty of the meadow area, I noticed these three bare trees. They stood above the brush and as such, seemed somehow like sentinels to me, watching out over the rest of the plain. I wandered around a bit and then found my shot. Next, I set up my tripod. With the cold, I was glad to have a pair of gloves where the tips of the fingers fold back so that you can have the dexterity you need when shooting in the cold. After that, I made my settings and started shooting. Having an overcast background works great for black and white!

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For more information about me, please go to my Hello! page.

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