Early this month we traveled east to the California mountains for a few days. It was Spring in most of California, including the foothills where stayed. It was nice weather the first day, but it rained for the next two. Rain down slope means snow in the higher elevations. The best conditions for beautiful snow cover are temperatures not far below freezing with no wind. That lets the snow accumulate on the trees. With that prospect overnight and clear skies the next morning we drove to Calaveras Big Trees State Park.
A larger version of this image is here It is a stitched panorama with two images stacked vertically in Photoshop™. Ordinarily, the top image would automatically have quite a bit less exposure than the bottom one, and that helps keep the sky blue. In this case the snow dazzle in the lower frame kept the exposures more evenly matched. I did use the Filter > Correct camera distortion feature of Photoshop to take out most of the perspective convergence of the trees. The building provides scale to the redwoods.
I also made a wide panorama of the west end of the parking lot. Parking lots are helpful for providing a forest edge and letting you get back far enough to photograph it. There are three frames stitched horizontally in this image.
The larger, um, much larger version is here
While snow-covered trees are hard to beat subject-wise, I made a mistake in the composition. The edge of the pavement is nearly in the center of the picture. In most circumstances it’s better not to have a picture evenly split by a central feature. Had I stepped a few feet further to the right when I took the picture, the pavement edge would have appeared further to the left, and it would be a better composition. I had forgotten that the frames would ultimately be spliced together and to pay attention to the finished product.
The composition would be improved by cropping out the left edge, but the close view of the forest is a nice part of the scene.
If you are in snow country, watch for temperatures near freezing and get out with your camera before the wind picks up. Planning ahead in composing spliced panoramas may be a little too much to ask.