By Nathan L. Walls

Bougher Hill snow and fog

Trees with Fog and Snow/Williams Township Trees with Fog and Snow/Williams Township
Clean Road/Williams Township Clean Road/Williams Township
Skeletons in Fog and Snow/Williams Township Skeletons in Fog and Snow/Williams Township

Our hill along the Delaware River had a lasting layer of snow recently and before warmer temperatures and rain melted it off, we had a couple days of foggy conditions. Similar to January last year, fog changes the complexion of subject matter. Some photos from this walk used the same compositions I did last year. Some were new. The key is it’s rarely static. Having the fog is a similarity, but how the fog is and having snow on the ground are two key differences.

I am a fan of revisiting places to photograph them multiple times. Overall, they aren’t “fresh”, but they benefit from the familiarity because sometimes compositions and light work well at a particular moment and other times they do not. Relatedly, there are weather and seasonal changes that render multiple similar compositions in the same location very unique. Galen Rowell touches on this some in his book Mountain Light, concerning the compositional similarity of a photo he had taken with one Ansel Adams had. Similarly, Simon Baxter has talked about revisiting scenes repeatedly.

I’m incredibly fortunate that I have several areas very close by I like revisiting frequently. The light changes, the seasons, the weather, buildings change. Sometimes, I’m previsualizing a specific scene for a specific light quality or weather condition. But, as much, I look outside and decide that moment is one to get outside to a particular shooting spot, and then find the compositions along the way. This particular day was a mix of both. I finished a lengthy task at work and wanted a bit of a break. I’d been keeping an eye out the window at the fog conditions and measuring against how much daylight I had left before sunset. Then, it was a matter of walking out the door with the camera toward subjects I’d explored before and some light thinking about how they’d play with the current weather.