About Me

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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.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

New England's Fleeting Winter Wonderland

Partridge Brook Coating
Last week I awoke one morning to discover that overnight a dusting of snow had left a coating of white on the ground and trees.  It wasn’t much, but as I looked out of the window, I was aware of two important things.  First, the “storm” had resulted in a lovely frosting of the bare November branches. Secondly, the temperature was 38 degrees, meaning that all that beautiful snow would soon be falling from the trees.

I have previously discussed the importance of capturing winter storms while the snow is still sticking to the branches. We call this the “winter wonderland” time. The snow-covered landscape is always beautiful, but the magic of winter scenes is always best captured with the fresh frosting.

On Tuesday morning, with the temperature above freezing, I knew that the snow would soon be falling from the branches.  It wasn’t the most beautiful storm, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to contrast winter wonderland with the ordinary bare branch aftermath.

I knew that I didn’t have much time, so I headed out toward Westmoreland among the pastures that lie below Spofford Village.  The snow was already dropping, but I was able to capture a bit of the “wonderland” along Partridge Brook.  Further downstream, I used an old pasture bridge and snow bound farm equipment as foregrounds.  One of my favorite barns was also nearby.  I wanted to return to the locations later in the day, so I stomped rough markers in to the snow and then headed home for breakfast.

Before and After

I was back just a couple of hours later.  The winter wonderland was gone, and I set about grabbing my comparison images.  My views weren’t perfectly matched, but I think the point was made.  It is amazing how just a few hours can change the feel of a scene.

After the Drop

Location Location Location
On Hurricane Road
Not only time, but location can affect what we see.  After all, this IS New England, and the variable conditions is one thing that make makes our photography so dynamic.  After capturing my “Un-Wonderland” images, I headed in to Keene by way of Hurricane Road.  This road travels over a hill and with the elevation returned the winter wonderland coating.  The snow was coming off the trees in large clumps, but I was still able to catch a touch more magic before descending to the nearly snowless Keene Central Square.

Falling Clumps, Hurricane Road, Keene New Hampshire

Waiting for Snow, Keene's Central Square

This is what I love about New England. If you know what to look for, in just a few hours or a few miles, you can experience a wide variety of landscapes and weather.  Our “wait a minute” weather is just one of the special treasures of New England photography. 

Jeffrey Newcomer


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