A day in the Tahoe Snow – snapshots converted into black and white for a personal touch

Last Sunday I finally went spend a day in the snow with my son. After the recent storms, the snowpack is high in Tahoe, and the temperatures have been low enough that it has not melted. This contrasts with the previous years when the precipitation was low, and the temperatures remained above freezing most of the winter. 

I have noticed that I have not posted many photos of snow in this blog. Last time I was there and wrote a blog post about it, “Leave no trace”, I told the story of how I lost my old Lee polarizer. It has long been replaced, but I haven’t made much use of it since!

This time I did not go for photography. I took my son on a beginner snowshoe guided tour. It was our first-time snowshoeing and Snowshoe Tahoe did a great job teaching us the basics. 

During the hike, I took the FEATURE IMAGE, F/13, 1/250S, ISO 320. It is a black and white abstract of the shadows of the trees on the snow landscape. It was converted to black and white using Adobe Camera Raw. 

The hike climbed up to a hill from which we could see what used to be known as “Squaw Valley Resort” (below). The resort has been recently renamed to “Palisades Tahoe”, because the term “squaw” was deemed offensive to some Native Americans. The photo below, of the Valley, is a snapshot converted to black and white, using Adobe Camera Raw. Note the square format of the frame, it seemed to me the most suitable for this photo.

On the way out, we stopped for burgers in Tahoe city and from there I took a snapshot I decided to make into a dreamscape: where the Truckee River meets Lake Tahoe is a great place to admire nature and dream.

And finally, my snowshoeing self…

Photography tips: you don’t need complicated equipment to create memories with your family, or photos that you treasure. You can give a personal touch to a snapshot by converting to black and white, using the myriad of presets (filters) offered by todays’ post-processing programs, and a bit of imagination. Play with the cropping, because each composition will look better on a different crop, and it is fun to find out which ones fit your photos better. 


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Published by Alessandra Chaves

Photographer with a preference for nature photography in black and white and other abstractions.

15 thoughts on “A day in the Tahoe Snow – snapshots converted into black and white for a personal touch

  1. It’s hard to resist abstracts of shadows in general, and on snow in particular. Did you consider a thin border around the image to keep the lower left corner from blending into the white of the “page”? You refer to the third picture as a dreamscape, and it does look somewhat dreamy, but you don’t say what you did to achieve the effect. One possibility is that you lowered the clarity.


  2. That’s a terrific photo of snow-shoe-ing you. Did your son take it? I smiled at the most abstract photo of the bunch: the one of the snow at the top. The granularity of that ‘certain kind of snow’ looks familiar. We often had wet snows in Iowa, and sometimes powdery snow, but there was a kind of snow that was almost as granular as sand, and it was great fun to play in.

    I remember passing through the town of Truckee on my way from California to Texas years ago, but somehow I missed knowing that there’s a Truckee river. Your photo’s beautiful.


    1. Yes, my son took that photo. I am not a snow specialist. From Maryland I remember that there were degrees of wetness in the snow, when it was dry the snow was very powdery but when it started to melt it would be slushy. Truckee is very uneventful, and where the Truckee River meets Lake Tahoe is in Tahoe city. Thanks for stopping by, I enjoy your lively comments.

      Liked by 1 person

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