Snow Circles from Aloft

April 01, 2015

Snow Circles

Snow Circles 2

PhotographerBrent Watson
Summary AuthorBrent Watson

Shown above is a sample of the artwork of British artist Simon Beck as observed from my Cessna 182 over the summit of Powder Mountain, Utah. Here Beck uses an untouched field of snow as his canvas -- his art is best seen from the air. I was flying at approximately 8,100 ft (2,470 m) or about 2,000 ft (610 m) above the field. Beck creates these masterpieces by tromping down the snow with snowshoes. Unfortunately, they disappear as soon as the next snow storm passes by, or the snow melts. The Sun was approximately 50 degrees above the southern horizon on this early March day -- the camera is facing away from the Sun. Note that the dark and light areas swap places as the image is viewed from a different angle. The second photo, taken less than one minute later, shows the image from a different position. When looking sunward the undisturbed powdery snow reflects sunlight more than when looking away from the Sun because fresh snow strongly scatters sunlight in the forward direction. Photo taken on March 7, 2015.

Photo details: Both images - Camera Maker: SONY; Camera Model: SLT-A77V; Lens: DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA; Focal Length: 45mm (35mm equivalent: 67mm); Aperture: ƒ/13.0; Exposure Time: 0.0010 s (1/1000); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows).