The Challenges of a Winter Photo Shoot

March 07, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

The Chicago area experienced a significant snow storm on March 5th, so I decided to go out and capture some photographs before all the snow melted. My plan was to visit some local sites and to concentrate on some scenes from the Cook County Forest Preserves.

Things got off to a very bad start with this photo shoot. My first destination was the Cherry Hills Woods picnic area. But, the parking lot was closed as the area was not plowed. Fortunately, the parking lot at Horsetail Lake was open. Horsetail Lake is only about 1/2 mile from Cherry Hills Woods, so I parked there and started to walk. Walking along the road with snow almost up to my knees in sections was not easy!
Along the way, I stopped to take this photo from just off the side of the road:
Winter in the woods
Initially, my 70-200 was attached to my camera. I realized that I wanted my 24-70 instead, so I carefully laid my camera bag on top of the snow and opened it. Next, I placed the 70-200 down on the bag and reached for the 24-70.  My plan was to switch the back lens cap from the 24-70 to the 70-200 and then attached the 24-70 to my waiting camera.  
Just at that moment, a plow came speeding down the two lane highway going at least 40 mph.  Before I realized what was happening, a wall of slush and ice slammed into my entire body--practically knocking me over!  I looked down to see my open camera bag filled with snow--and my uncovered 70-200 was covered with ice! This reminded me of an experience I had a few years ago at Baker Beach in San Francisco when a wave crashed into me and nearly destroyed all of my gear.
Fortunately, I had my back to the plow or my D800 would have been filled with snow!  Things could have been worse...I was able to clean my 70-200 and get everything dried out after the shoot.
I doubt that these photos were worth it, but here are a few from the shoot:
Lone tree in winter Lone tree in winter Winter stream Winter stream


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