• Often times when the winter skies are overcast, I am looking for intimate/close-up pictures.  This day, at Quail Hollow State Park, was that sort of day.  I had dressed for the wet snow and cold and was wondering through about 6″ of snow when I came upon these pine cones hanging.

    My first decision to make was whether it was a horizontal or vertical shot.  The branch they hung on could have let me go horizontal, but since I was going in close I decided to make it vertical, going along with the vertical shape of the cones themselves.

    The next decision was to find a clean background to allow the pines cones to stand out.  Since the background was a good distance away, I could use an f/11 on the lens to get maximum depth-of-field with the whole pine cones in focus.

    Now, the last thing I needed to remember was when taking pictures with snow in them was that I needed to adjust my exposure to brighten up the snow.  When using your camera meter to set your exposure for snow it will always underexpose the snow.  The camera meter sees the snow and tries to set the brightness for 18% grey which will make the snow look dark.  In this image I compensated my exposure by +3 to capture the snow so it looked white.  Because I had determined my f/stop, the adjustment was made to my shutter speed.

    Hopefully this helps you understand some of my thinking in creating this image and will help you when you are out creating pictures of your own.  I would appreciate any comment you may have by leaving the comment in the section below.