California has been getting a lot of rain this year, which is a nice welcome from the drought we had last year. With all this rain brought the snow that we also missed out on last year, so of course, we all went a little snow-crazy, so the mountains got a lot of traffic. Naturally, I went to Big Bear to get some of the snow action.
Here are a few things that I’ve learned in my day up to Big Bear
- Snow Chains are a pain to put on with your bare hands. You know those YouTube videos that make it look so easy? Misleading. There has to be some trick that I and the rest of us are missing because everyone was struggling, hence causing the slow down in traffic up the mountain. If anyone has any secrets or tips, would love to know what they are!
- Just because you have a four wheel drive does not mean you do not need chains. You need snow tires or you will get stuck.
- In the case that you do get stuck, do not rev your engine. It will not help!
- It helps to have a shovel on hand in case you do get stuck in the snow
- Careful where you walk: you don’t know how deep the snow is and you can be in for a surprise! (a cold and wet one)
Most of the roads were closed in Big Bear, which made it kind of difficult to stop and take pictures, because there was no where to stop or to park. Everyone tried to park on snow banks for as long as they could before the cops came by to threaten to tow everyone. So the most we could do is park and try to take some quick snaps.
So there were definitely some challenges of getting around Big Bear, but in addition to those challenges I had just mentioned, there are some challenges to shooting in the snow on a bright day. I learned my lesson the hard way when I was at Sequoia three weeks ago. Most of my pictures turned our horrible, either over or under exposed, or with a blueish tint, which I can’t bring myself to share, unless I can pretend that I was at “Smurf World”.
So the most important thing: learn how to set a custom white balance! Thank goodness I finally (kind of) figured out my white balance, and using a polarizer helped a lot. I advise anyone to have a polarizer handy for bright days and for snow shooting. I still need some more practice thought because im very new at it, so it was a struggle. I still don’t have it down yet. I also have to add that Ihave a new found respect for people who can take photos in snow, because I now realize how difficult it can be. In any case, I’m excited for more snow capturing opportunities though, so fingers crossed!