Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Waiting for the Light

Waiting for the Light (3543, EM1)

As of today, the average temperature for this month (February) is 12.4 degrees F here in the Rochester area.  Which makes it the coldest February on record.  And it isn’t going to get much warmer anytime soon.  Maybe by mid-March?  Who knows.  This is the first winter I can remember (and I’ve seen a few) where we haven’t had any kind of significant February thaw.  If it’s outside, it is, by definition, frozen.  Even Lake Ontario is in danger of becoming ice covered.  That hasn’t happened in a very long time.  Maybe you’ve seen pictures of a nearly frozen Niagara Falls on the news.  That’s less unusual, but still draws a lot of attention.

Our only recent “warm-up” was this past Sunday – it got all the way “up” to the low thirties.  So, like a lot of other people, I ventured down to the lake just to get out of the house, and to take pictures of the ice.  I also wanted to play with my new Olympus 40 – 150 mm f/2.8 lens (in full-frame terms, that’s 80 – 300 mm).

After trucking through some pretty deep snow I finally made it to the Webster Park pier.  Not surprisingly, lots and lots of ice.  All I needed (photographically) was a little color.  Otherwise all I’d have was blue and white.  Boring.  The guy on the left showed up first.  Still, not much color.  Then came the woman in the yellow jacket, followed shortly afterward by the woman in the dark blue coat.  So now I had color.  I didn’t want to be greedy, but I needed some positional balance.  I think a couple of them must have read my mind (not hard to do, I guess, if your brain is already partially frozen).  The guy moved to the left and struck a nice pose looking up at the navigational light.  The yellow jacket was already in the middle – she just needed to stay there.  And then, wonder of wonders, the blue jacket moved over to the right.  Then, amazingly, the two women also looked up at the light.

Not really a masterpiece, but if you’ve been dealing with this much cabin fever, it’ll do.

And the lens?  I really like it.  It’s incredibly well built and it focuses very, very fast.  In manual, it’s a joy to use.  It has a minimum focusing distance of about 27 inches so it’s capable, I think, of being used as a kind of macro lens.  I was able to get some very sharp close-ups of some interesting ice formations on and around the pier with it.

Sadly, our “thaw” is over.  We’re back in our regular deep freeze mode.  For most of February, by the way, Anchorage, Alaska was warmer than Webster, NY.  Honest.


8 Responses to “Waiting for the Light”

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks for visiting. And thanks for pointing me to your site. I’ve always been a big Dilbert fan.

  1. TomDills

    That’s just way too much cold and snow, Paul. We’re bracing for a bit of winter down here tomorrow, but at least it hopefully won’t last long.

    Great story on how the photo developed, too. You couldn’t have posed them much better than they managed to pose themselves!

    • Paul Maxim

      Yes, it is “way too much”, Tom. But I must be getting a little bit used to it. I just read in the paper this morning that two of my favorite waterfalls (about 45 miles south of here) are completely frozen. Sounds like it might be worth the drive………

  2. E. Brooks

    Wow, monthly average 12.4℉ — that’s really cold for a long spell. I know your focus must be on the upcoming Southwest trip in March. Hang in there, Paul, and keep your sanity. Hey, March has got to average at least 30 degrees. 🙂

    A mighty fine photo. Just a shame that person wearing black couldn’t have worn red!

    That Olympus long zoom professional lens has been on my “lust list” ever since it was announced but there’s been higher priorities recently. Glad you got it and tried it out…it definitely stays on my list for sometime in the future.

    • Paul Maxim

      Well, as your smiley face indicates, March doesn’t have to do anything around here that it doesn’t want to do. March, in fact, can be one of our snowiest months. And the local meteorologists say they don’t know when a break in the weather will occur. Probably about June……

      Yes, red would have been nice!

      I think this lens is nearly as good as the 300 mm Canon prime I once owned – and that was a remarkable lens. The big difference, of course, is the weight. This one weighs about 4 lbs., heavy for a micro 4/3, but much lighter than the Canon. And like the EM1 it’s weather sealed.

  3. Cedric Canard

    I did experience -25ºF when we were living in Stanford Connecticut many years ago but I don’t really remember what that was like though I recall that my ears hurt a lot when exposed.
    Anyway, cool photo thanks to those very obliging folks. It’s always nice when a shot comes together like that 🙂

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Cedric. It really got that cold in Connecticut? That must have been an unusual event. New England usually stays a bit warmer than the interior northeast (on average).

      Yeah, one of those instances when luck favors the guy standing there with frozen fingers…….


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