It’s winter in Minnesota

By David Halgrimson

It’s winter here in Minnesota. Oh, I know its winter across the US, but it’s winter here in Minnesota. On the second day of the new year, 2021, I awoke to a beautiful display presented to me by Mother Nature. Frost covered the trees, bushes, and all other dormant plants.

Frost covered trees along the trail. Lumix GX8, 1/3200, f/9 ISO 800

Being an avid photographer, I could not let this opportunity pass, so I donned my snow pants, heavy coat, special winter photographer’s gloves, stocking hat, and boots and headed out.

First stop was the Red Round Barn in Rogers, Minnesota where the trees surrounding the barn were aglow with the morning frost.

An old round barn sitting among the frosted trees. Olympus EM-1 MKII, 40mm, 1/2000, f/5, ISO 200

The next and final stop was to the Crow Hassan Park Reserve. There were people hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and even a couple people on horseback. The trees here were also covered in frost and as the sun came out, the glow of the frost was awe-inspiring. I took out two cameras with different lenses, hung them around my neck, put on my backpack and started out for the trails. I spent about three hours walking the well-groomed trails and finding many great photo opportunities.

Hikers walk through a forest of frosted trees. Olympus EM-1 MKII, 125mm, 1/640, f/8, ISO 200
Sun lights the frost-covered prairie grass. Lumix GX8, 12mm, 1/3200, f/14, ISO 1600
A frozen pond surrounded by frost-covered trees. Lumix GX8, 21mm, 1/1600, f/14, ISO 800
Cross country skiers pass a frosted tree on the trail. Lumix GX8, 12mm, 1/2000, f/8, ISO 800
A long frosted trail to sights unseen. Lumix GX8, 10mm, 1/3200, f/9, ISO 800

Shooting in the bright snow can be a challenge. The camera likes to meter bright white as 18% gray, and I’m not a fan of gray snow or in this case gray frost. To compensate for the gray, I overexpose as much as possible, while watching the histogram to maintain detail in the brightest areas. If more is needed, I make additional adjustments when processing the image later. In Minnesota in winter there are mostly gray clouds so some reflected gray in the snow and frost is a given as seen in some of the images here.

All in all, it was a wonderful day.

David Halgrimson is a Photo Guide with Arizona Highways PhotoScapes.