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, April 24, 2016

An April Day of Winter

Often after a season ends I will do a retrospective blog article celebrating some of the best images of the season. As I think back on this last winter, I realized that, for me at least, it was a one day season, and that one day was in April.

A Christmas Stroll
My recollections of winter 2015-16 include walking about the village in shirt-sleeves on Christmas Day, and then various dustings of snow and variable periods of cold. I admit I was gloriously absent from New England in late January, for a two week tour throughout Costa Rica, but I don't believe the region suffered any major blizzards in my absence. Sadly, for this year, my usual collection of crystal brilliant winter scenes is largely empty.

Window on the Storm
 It isn't that we totally lacked frozen precipitation. This winter, weather records show that we had about two feet less snow than average, but that was only about 30% less than usual. The problem was that the snow came in scattered dustings that seldom accumulated to a depth which could be characterized as a photographic "Winter Wonderland". 

Roads End Wall

By early April I had abandoned hope and switched to Spring anticipation mode, but then on April 4th a storm blew through and gave me my one brief taste of winter. It was just for a few hours and by the end only about 3-4 inches had accumulated, but I was able to get out and grab a few precious images of my only real winter storm of the season.


Tree in the Storm
Knowing that the blowing precipitation would only last a short time I headed out to my favorite nearby locations. I cruised the high pastures along Route 63 as it passes through Chesterfield Village, and struggled through the brush to capture the lone border tree nearly lost in the blowing snow. I moved along the pasture's edge to include the leading line of the wire fence. Falling snow always offers opportunities to highlight depth such as in the image looking down the tree-lined path to the distant barn. And of course I had to swing by my favorite local farm, Roads End.



Pointillism Barn
I love the way differences in shutter speed can affect the feel of images of falling snow and have discussed the topic in a previous article. During this surprise April storm I had plenty of opportunities to sample the various moods of the falling snow. Images with a longer shutter highlighted the angry blowing streaks of snow, while shorter shutter speeds froze the flakes creating a softer feel suggesting the pointillism of Georges Seurat.

Spring Storm


Main Street Storm

I was only out for a couple of hours before the snow faded away, but it was amazing how many different impressions were possible with just a spin of the camera dial. And then it was over. The warm April sun dissolved the scant cover in a couple of days and, although I never captured my "Winter Wonderland" shot, I'm still happy that I salvaged this one day before the "winter that wasn't" melted to a merciful end.


Now the buds are beginning to pop and I'm ready for spring.

Woodpile Spring, Hubner Farm, Chesterfield, NH

Jeffrey Newcomer

1 comment: