Whether you've packed snowshoes or swimsuits, these diverse destinations will satisfy your craving for winter photography
By Ibarionex R. Perello
Mo'omomiPreserve, Molokai, Hawaii
Dewitt Jones (www.dewittjones.com) Controlled by The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, Mo'omomi Preserve offers a warm and exciting location for winter photography. Winter brings large waves crashing against the shore, and strong winds produce huge sand dunes. Hundreds of feet wide, these sand dunes can stretch for as long as a mile and can be used as a strong foreground element to landscape images, as in this image. The preserve also features more than 20 native plant species and 30 bird species, including sea eagles, sanderlings, and flightless ibis and ducks. It's recommended that you contact the Conservancy when arranging a visit, as access roads may be gated and locked. Its dirt roads require a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
John Fielder (www.johnfielder.com) While winter sports enthusiasts use chairlifts on Mount Crested Butte, they also provide photographers an awesome view of three wilderness areas. The peaks can be seen and photographed at a full 360 degrees. The area offers numerous creeks and rivers, such as the Slate River shown in this photograph, which can be used as a strong foreground element in landscapes, featuring snow, aspens and other wild growth. Snowfall can be as high as 10 inches during the heart of winter, with temperatures ranging between 20° F and below zero.
Jerry and Marcy Monkman (www.ecophotography.com) The rugged Maine coast features a variety of subject matter during the winter months, not the least of which is the ocean shore. Temperatures can vary from 30° F to below zero, so it's important to dress appropriately, whether you're walking along the shore or hiking into the hills. Be aware that several roads and trails may be closed during the winter months, so research ahead of time to ensure that you'll have access to a specific locale.
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
George D. Lepp (www.leppinstitute.com) Although morning can be cold, you can expect comfortable temperatures around 50° F while photographing the refuge's wide variety of bird life. Images such as this one reveal why it's a popular location for bird photography workshops.The refuge offers ideal opportunities for shooting in the early morning, especially if you get out of bed before sunrise. Make a note of where other photographers are gathering, as this will direct you to where most of the activity is occurring. Spend the day along the roads looking for deer, hawks and roadrunners and then revisit the birds before sunset, when they return to roost for the evening.
Bill Campbell (www.billcampbellphotography.com) Photographers should take advantage of frost that develops on open meadows, which can add a strong winter feel to landscape and wildlife images. With temperatures dipping to below freezing, the occasional ice around waterfalls and icicles on rocks from numerous seeps make for a striking winterland effect. The national park extends through North Carolina and Tennessee, and includes numerous falls, which can be used as a great focal point in landscape photographs. Meigs Falls, seen here, is an easily accessible waterfall that can be viewed from the road and is located only 13 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
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