Island in the Net

A personal blog by Khürt Williams, full of imagery, and inchoate ramblings on coffee, and geekery.

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Tag: snow (page 1 of 14)

Snow Day

I woke up around 7 AM. This isn’t the time I normally awaken during the week. Normally my alarm clock is set for 6 AM and I always want to stay under the blankets. I never feel fully rested. I think 7 AM is my normal waking time because I have observed that that is the time I will naturally1 awaken while on holidays and weekends.

Right now our town is in the middle of a day-long snowstorm; snowstorm Niko. I looked outside and saw the wind blown snow coming down. This means we are going to have some thick snow drifts and possibly power outages. The snow has been coming down fast and heavily since around 4 AM and is expected to continue until late this afternoon. Forecasters are expecting snow to fall at the rate of two inches per hour this morning with gusts of high winds, and our area could get up to eight inches of snow. This storm was supposed to be local but has been upgraded to a regional storm.

Snow Day, NIKON D40 20110108  1 What’s Brewin’ at Marias, Frenchtown, New Jersey[/caption]

  • Aperture—ƒ/2.8
  • Camera—NIKON D40
  • Taken—8 January, 2011
  • Focal length—35mm
  • ISO—200
  • Shutter speed—1/250s

I know some photographers look forward to these opportunities to get out the camera for some winter photography, but for me, windy snow storms mean a day of shoveling and a shitty commute to work when the snow stops. Before I consulted I worked for a large pharmaceutical company as a full-time employee. On weekday snow days like today, I was productive because the company allowed employees to connect to the network via VPN.

Last night the high school and my consulting client sent out alerts last night announcing that offices are closed today2. State offices in New Jersey are closed, as are government offices in the Delaware, Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties surrounding Philadelphia. New Yorkers are having a tough time too.

Snow Day, NIKON D40 20110108 20110108

Frenchtown Mercantile, Race Street Cafe, Race Street, Frenchtown, New Jersey

  • Aperture—ƒ/2.8
  • Camera—NIKON D40
  • Taken—8 January, 2011
  • Focal length—35mm
  • ISO—200
  • Shutter speed—1/200s

So the kids are home but my wife is expecting to go to work. I think she expected less snow than this. Kiran will most likely sleep in. Shaan has a sinus infection and had a rough night trying to sleep.

About twenty years ago, before marriage and before kids, Bhavana and me were in Virginia on a business trip. During a break in between seminars, we learned that a major snow storm was headed our way. When it started to snow, the state government announced that they were unprepared for the extent of the storm and that they might close some of the highways. We spoke with some of the other business owners from New Jersey and collectively agreed to leave the state immediately. We did not want to get stuck in Virginia.

Snow Day, NIKON D40 20110108  3

Cathy Smith Designs, Frenchtown, New Jersey

  • Aperture—ƒ/6.3
  • Camera—NIKON D40
  • Taken—8 January, 2011
  • Focal length—35mm
  • ISO—200
  • Shutter speed—1/100s

Normally a drive from Virginia to New Jersey might take about six to eight hours. It took us nearly sixteen hours. The storm grew worse as we drove north but we were determined to make it back home. There were moments when the highway was barely visible. And when we arrived at Bhavna’s condominium, all the parking was covered in snow. We had to dig out — the snow was so deep that the word shovel seems inadequate — a spot to park the car before we could even unload our luggage. There was so much snow it took almost a week to clear roadway especially the one lane country roads typical of this area. It was one of the worst snowstorms I have ever experienced.

Snow Day, NIKON D40 20110126

January 26th, 2011: Snow again today. I’m telecommuting from home again today. Like I did last week. And the week before that. I’m considering asking my Director to let me enroll in the full-time mobile worker program. Last night the kids were excited at the prospect of another Snow Day. They were a little disappointed this morning to find out the school would be open. They remained a little hopeful that the snow would continue into the night. Maybe tomorrow will be a snow day for all of us.

  • Aperture—ƒ/2.8
  • Camera—NIKON D40
  • Taken—26 January, 2011
  • Focal length—35mm
  • ISO—200
  • Shutter speed—1/200s

Not all of my experiences with winter have been negative. I think 2011 was my best year for winter photography. We had many small snowstorms that year. I think we had a snowfall about once every two weeks. But if I remember correctly, they were conveniently on weekends. I could stay inside, did not have to drive to work, and the kids were at the right age for playing in the snow.

Snow Day, NIKON D40 20110217 5

I love HDR photography. Look at those shadows.

  • Aperture—ƒ/8
  • Camera—NIKON D40
  • Taken—17 February, 2011
  • Focal length—35mm
  • ISO—200
  • Shutter speed—1/320s

My son has always loved playing in the snow. Even now that he’s seventeen last night he was excited that we finally get some heavy powder. Right now, I have the house — and computer — to myself. But it’s almost 10 AM and I am sure they will all be awake. I don’t think we’ll be out playing in the snow today.

Snow Day, NIKON D40 20110213 3

February 13, 2011 : She was hiding near the back side of my deck when my daughter spotted her out the kitchen window. We gingerly slide the sliding door open but I barely had time to focus before she bounded off through a hole in the fence.

  • Aperture—ƒ/5.6
  • Camera—NIKON D40
  • Taken—13 February, 2011
  • Focal length—56mm
  • ISO—200
  • Shutter speed—1/500s

All of the images included in this post are from January and February of 2011. Some were taken in Frenchtown, a historic small town in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Some were taken around my neighborhood. Some were taken right in my backyard.

I sat down at the computer to write a post about how to export images from Lightroom directly to Instagram but it instead I found a way to revisit old photos and create a blog post. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic and New England area, what are you doing with your snow day?


  1. In the summer I awaken much earlier. I am sensitive to daylight and the summer days in New Jersey are longer. Sunrise can be as early as 5 AM. 
  2. It’s easier for snow plows to keep major roads clear when traffic is light. 

One Word Photo Challenge: Drink

  • Aperture—ƒ/5.6
  • Camera—NIKON D5100
  • Taken—24 January, 2016
  • Focal length—48mm
  • ISO—100
  • Shutter speed—1/200s

One word photo challenge.

Cold

  • Aperture—ƒ/2.8
  • Camera—NIKON D5100
  • Taken—8 January, 2017
  • Copyright—© 2017 Khürt Williams
  • Focal length—35mm
  • ISO—2200
  • Shutter speed—1/250s

I was nervous about this week’s photo challenge. This was my first time participating in this blogging challenge. When the topic was announced, I was concerned that I would not get the picture I wanted. I didn’t have a particular vision, but I knew that I wanted something with snow or ice.

But that same day it started to snow. It was a weekday, and I had only a few minutes to capture a few shots with my camera. The rest of the day I would be inside working, and by the time the work day was over, it would be dark.

That morning I capture a shot of our mailbox. But I wasn’t feeling it. The next day we still had some snow on the ground. On my way out to work, I grabbed a few more shots. I took some images of the snow in the pine needles of the neighbourhood trees.

Last night it started to snow, and it snowed all night. It wasn’t a lot of snow. I think we got about five inches of snow. In the morning, my son cleared the snow from the driveway and Bhavana’s car. Later that afternoon I convinced Bhavana and Kiran to take a trip into Princeton with me. Kiran wanted some supplies from the paper store, and Bhavana wanted to help me with my project.

It was cold in Princeton. The sky was cloudy, and the wind knifed through our layers of clothing. I had hoped to do some street photography, capturing images of Princeton University students or shoppers walking around town. But few people were about, and most people looked at me strangely when I took their photo. I got a shot of some ladies enjoying hot coffee outside the Dunkin Donuts.

We bought some birthday cards. My sister-in-law celebrated her birthday in November, but I had not found the right card for her. We stopped at Rojo’s for coffee and espresso drinks. Bhavana tried a macchiato for the first time. She loved it.

After picking up dinner — pizza at Jule’s and shawarma and falafel sandwiches at Mamouns — we stopped at the Princeton Public Library to use the restroom where Kiran found some used books to add to her collection. She loves books. We paid for her loot and then headed home.

It was while trying to decide which beer to have with my pizza that I remembered I had a bottle of mead in the fridge. While reading the label, I saw the “WELL CHILLED” on the bottle. At that moment I knew what photo I wanted for the weekly challenge.

The Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography. This week’s theme is cold.