Tag Archives: southeast texas

Snow in Southeast Texas: An Oxymoron

Snow Pic 2

Just another Friday morning, up at the crack of dawn and headed out the door at 4am to beat the traffic heading north into Houston.  After opening the door, I looked around me and saw that it was SNOWING!  In SOUTHEAST Texas!  All thoughts of leaving for work left my brain as I grabbed my Canon 5DSR and 24-70mm f1.2 lens to get some shots of this rarity.  I mean, snow on palm ferns is pretty weird, ya gotta admit.

Dear Northerners:  before you roll your eyes over my excitement (and the excitement of everybody from Kingwood to Houston to Katy to Clute to Galveston), please allow me to explain to you:  in southeast Texas, I am currently living closer to the equator than the North Pole.  It once snowed about 8 inches on Christmas Eve in my town back in 2004, and then it snowed a teeny bit (and I do mean teeny) in 2009 – more north than south.  Snow is, indeed, rare, in my neck of the woods, and for many living around here, this is the only chance they may ever get to actually see, feel and even taste snow (I’m serious).

For me, it was a reminder of beautiful winter scenes I’ve photographed in previous years, and beautiful winter scenes I hope to photograph in the future.  It was early in the morning, quiet, and utterly beautiful.

Tech specs:  ISO between 1000-1250, shutter speed 25-30, aperture f4-f5.6, handheld, burst method.

Snow On The Palm Ferns 2Snow Pic 1Snow On The SpiderwebsSnow AtThe Apartment ComplexSnow At The Apartment Complex 3

 

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Filed under 5DSR, Canon, Events, low light photography, Photography, snow, Texas, weather, Weather

Sunrise At The Refuge

Road To The Sunrise

I was going through photography withdrawal, having not taken a picture of anything since my return from my Maine trip .   It’s been 3-4 months since I last visited the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge in my part of southeast Texas,  so I thought that would be a worthwhile thing to do over the weekend (now that the government shutdown is over and the refuge is open again).

The Beginning Of Sunrise

So I got up Saturday morning (Oct 26) at 5:11AM and was out the door by about 5:45AM.  I arrived at the entrance gate, parked my car, and waited in the dark.  The sign says the gate opens at “dawn’” and closes at “dusk” (whatever hours constitute dawn and dusk times is anybody’s guess).

At 7AM, I heard the rumbling of the gate as it automatically opened up.  So now know – 7AM is dawn.

As I sat there, watching the distant horizon turn from indigo to a deep pink-orange while deep blue clouds drifted past, I kept thinking jeez – I’m missing some good photo ops.  Luckily the gate opened up with time for me to get to the spot I wanted.

Once I got there, though, I was a little unimpressed.  Nonetheless, I affixed the polarizer to my lens because I wanted to saturate the colors.  I also used a graduated ND filter because the area below the horizon was naturally darker than the area above the horizon.  Aperture was set at either f7.1 or (in those instances when I wanted to try and achieve a sunburst) f22.  ISO was 160 to 250 and I played around with the shutter speed, anywhere from 1/30 to 1 second (I shoot in Manual mode).

I took a few shots (the ones above) then proceeded to take the camera off the tripod.

I happened to look back toward the horizon to see the clouds lined with a brilliant golden-yellow and sunrays reaching past the cloud blockade.

A Golden Burst

Camera went back on tripod.

Ball of Fire

A Burst Of Color

Brilliance

Not a bad way to start a Saturday morning.

Here’s a link to the video I uploaded to YouTube of my morning visit to the refuge.  I mention in my video commentary that it’s winter.  It’s still fall, but here in southeast Texas, the two seasons are interchangeable.  And while you may not see much birdlife, you can hear it in the background, along with the crickets and the wind.

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Filed under Brazoria NWR, Clouds, Photography, sunrise, Texas, Wildlife Refuge