Raised Footprints in Snow

March 08, 2015

Raised deer tracks

Photographer: Bill Curry
Summary AuthorBill Curry

Shown above are deer tracks in snow as photographed in Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, Canada. Oddly, these tracks are raised above the level of the snow cover. How did this happen? Special circumstances must occur before this phenomenon can be observed. To begin with, the snow has to have a firm layer beneath it, such as the frozen lens of ice and snow laid down the week before the photo was snapped. Then, a layer of light snow must fall atop this frozen layer. We had a snowfall of several centimeters the day before I noticed the tracks. After the deer walked over the fresh snow and compressed it, very high winds whipped away the fluffy layer leaving behind only the deer's footprints, now raised above the frozen lens. Photo taken on February 14, 2015.

Photo details: Camera Model: NIKON D800E; Lens: 50.0 mm f/1.4; Focal Length: 50mm (35mm equivalent: 50mm); Aperture: ƒ/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0025 s (1/400); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop CC (Macintosh). Adobe Camera Raw used to tweak the raw-format image, adjusting the contrast to bring out the shadow detail.