In Deep with the Irix 15
As I mentioned in the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone Lens review, a significant March snowstorm simultaneously arrived with this lens, dumping 19" of snow in less than a day. While that snow volume may seem miniscule to those in some locations, the amount was (or nearly was) a 24-hr record for this area. And, after the snow fell, the wind started. Wind of course brings about snow drifting and I knew where I might find some drifting effects to capture.
A 1 mile (1.6km) jog/hike in knee-deep snow brought me to a mountaintop field just prior to sunset where I successfully found interesting wind-formed wave-like patterns in the snow. The late-day low sun angle meant the patterns were side-lit, emphasizing their shapes along with some color temperature variance occurring between the sun-lit and shaded areas.
One of my favorite uses of wide angle focal lengths is to make close subjects appear large in relation to what is behind them and to keep what is behind them in sharp focus. The 15mm focal length worked great for application of this concept, emphasizing the uneven snow in the field. Note that I had to be careful to keep my shadow out of the frame.
A funny story: I took a somewhat different route back to home and unwittingly stepped over the edge of a bank and into a deep snowdrift. After sinking in well over my waist, the angle of the ground (once I finally reached it) caused me to continue sliding at an angle, leaving me strongly tipped and in about shoulder-deep. Any attempt to move caused me to sink deeper and trying to dig out was ... an unusual experience. Fortunately, the camera and lens were in a Lowepro Toploader Pro 70 AW case, so no worries there and after I brushed off, only the humor of the moment was remaining. Remember – photography can be as much about creating stories as it is about telling them.
If you do not already have an ultra-wide angle lens in your kit, definitely check out the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone or Firefly Lens. Either version of this lens can add a lot of capability to your kit for a low cost.
15mm f/8.0 1/100s ISO 100