Houston Texas got a rare treat today, as snow fell in and around the Houston metro area and surrounding counties. It was the earliest snowfall on record for Houston and one of only 4 times it’s snowed in Houston in the past 15 years. (source: meteorologist Charles Roeseler, National Weather Service)
In Northwest Houston, I stepped outside to find a winter wonderland happening right outside my front door. It was a sight to behold, as white showers blanketed everything in sight. Thankfully, I was prepared for photography. My camera gear, tripod and freshly-charged batteries were already packed and ready to go. So I ventured out to shoot the snow.
After I shot some images around my neighborhood, I wanted to go somewhere with less concrete and more nature. So I headed to one of my favorite local hiking spots, George Bush Park. At 7800 acres, George Bush Park is one of the largest urban parks in the US. It’s one of the few places in Houston where you can actually commune with nature inside the city limits. By the time I got out there, the short-lived snow was already beginning to melt. Thankfully though, late in the afternoon the sky cleared and the sun came out, casting a golden hue over the late fall foliage in the park.
These bright red Chinese Tallow leaves were begging to be photographed. 40mm, 1/13 sec, f/8, ISO 100
With this type of close-up shot (above), it’s important to be wary of your focal plane and depth of field. I situated my camera so that the barrel of my lens was directly above and relatively perpendicular to the leaves and the ground. This ensures that your camera’s sensor is parallel to the leaves - ergo your focal plane is aligned with the subject’s plane. This minimizes distortion and maximizes your depth of field for this shot. I was able to get in nice and tight right above the subject, by adjusting my tripod legs to their lowest position and utilizing a multi-function center column and ball head.
In Houston, fall colors are still present in December and lent a wonderful contrast to the snow. 40mm, 1/50, f/11, ISO 100
An American Holly with snow. 40mm, 1/4 sec, f/8, ISO 100
Chinese Tallow tree with red foliage. 17mm, 10 sec, f/11, ISO 100
The day finished off with a colorful and clear gradient sky. 40mm, 0.5 sec, f/8, ISO 100