About Me

My photo
Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Long Lens Snow

Pasture White, Chesterfield, NH

Distant Pasture Snow

There are several factors which control how falling snow appears.   I discussed some of these in a previous article. They include the intensity of the storm, the size of the flakes, the wind velocity, and the shutter speed, but one factor that I didn’t discuss is worth considering. The distance from the subject and the focal length of the lens required to pull that subject close can have a striking effect on the apparent intensity of the snow fall. It is all about the volume of falling snow that veils the subject.

Chesterfield Post Office
I have always observed that the intensity of snowfall can be enhanced by moving away from a subject, and then pulling it close with a long lens.  This week I was hoping for a storm that would allow me to clearly demonstrate this effect.  

45 Feet, 32mm Lens
My opportunity came last Wednesday when a brief squall came through.  I ran up to Chesterfield Center where I had the room to shoot a similarly composed picture of the iconic Town Hall, first from a distance of 45 feet with a 32mm lens, and then from across the school playing fields out to 480 feet with a 180mm focal length.  The results were striking.

480 Feet, 180mm Lens
The foreshortening created by the long lens compressed onto the building all the extra snow which was present in the intervening distance.  Although they were taken just a few minutes apart, it looked like two entirely different storms.  The point was dramatically clear. If you want to intensify the appearance of a snow storm, back away from the subject, and then pull it back in with a long lens.  It’s not cheating.  It’s just physics.  

By the time the squall had moved on, I had made my point and also had enjoyed the full effect of the rest of those soft, lazy flakes.


  1. Wow, these pictures are superb and look at the result. thumbs up, Please share more pictures with us.

  2. Wow! The two Town Hall pics were great. Thanks for sharing the different lenses, etc... Really helpful