Chill out this summer with a Snowpocalypse

GWU hippo eats snow.jpg

GWU hippo eats snow
GWU hippo eats snow

As the harsh summer sun roasts us, let's remember a chillier time: the DC Snowpocalypse of 2010!

I had purchased my first DSLR, a Nikon D5000, a month before the first blizzard struck; my blood raced with excitement at the opportunity to shoot with it in a snowstorm.

I put on a hooded sweatshirt atop an undershirt, and over that, I wore my heaviest winter coat. I didn't have snow boots, but my heavy black steel-toed shoes proved able substitutes. To protect my camera somewhat from the storm, I wrapped it inside a plain white t-shirt. I wanted to grab photos of the snowball fight at Dupont Circle, so I chose a Nikkor 55-200mm telephoto lens.

Ready for action, I ventured into what might as well have been an alien realm—Hoth come to DC. The wind howled as snowflakes crashed into me with the force of heavy rain. As I trudged through the snow, my shoes sinking beneath with each step, I couldn't even see a block ahead of me.

This was high adventure for the geeky urban web developer.

My hands eventually began to ache from the unusual cold, so I popped into a CVS at Dupont Circle that amazingly was open and bought a couple pairs of thin gloves. I slid both pairs over my hands, one over the other; even this didn't shield my hands from the cold totally, but it did help a lot.

I ultimately had to stop shooting that day because an SUV ambling behind me on a side road honked its horn, startling me into tripping, whereupon snow and ice covered my lens filter. But I'd had a lot of fun until that point, and I returned home with great photos!

The Snowpocalypse kept most of the city off work for most of the next week, giving me the chance to photograph the days after the several blizzards that pounded the area. The sun shone brightly onto glistening white snow. For these scenes, I used the Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens that came with my D5000, along with a multicoated circular polarizer to keep the sky blue and prevent the snow from blowing out my photos.

Even though nearly two years have elapsed since the 2010 Snowpocalypse, I still reckon the set I constructed from it some of my best ever work.

Other Media: 

Hungry squirrel in the snow.jpg

Hungry squirrel in the snow
Hungry squirrel in the snow

Snow covering Sheridan Circle Park.jpg

Snow covering Sheridan Circle Park
Snow covering Sheridan Circle Park

Snow-laden tree in front of Potomac.jpg

Snow-laden tree in front of Potomac
Snow-laden tree in front of Potomac

Snowball fight at Dupont Circle.jpg

Snowball fight at Dupont Circle
Snowball fight at Dupont Circle