Winter in Iowa is similar to other Midwest states in that there is always a wide range of weather...from rain and sleet, to full blown blizzards...to a light dusting of snow or an occasional ice storm. What I really like about winter is the diversity of light. Recently, during blizzard conditions in Eastern Iowa, I ventured out to Ennis nature preserve west of Mount Vernon, IA to explore the area and record what was happening that day.
The thing that struck me the most was the overcast, yet subtle brightness of the sky, since so much snow was falling, but there was also moisture and fog in the mix, so everything had a certain glow to it. As I walked through the forest near the Cedar River admiring snow patterns stuck on the north side of trees, I noticed this tree that seemed to stand out from all the rest. It's bark was richly colorful compared to the stark white surrounding it.
The light was such that pulling out the details was a little difficult, but after several shots using bracketed exposure settings, I think it's true colors were captured. This isn't one of those "wow" photos that jumps off the screen, but rather it's a subtle reminder of how beautiful nature can be in even the most subdued light.
Light is everything to a photographer, and even the slightest changes can bring fantastic opportunities for capturing Iowa's landscape. The fun is to be out in it and enjoy every drop of light that comes your way!