This past weekend, over 60 million people were affected by Winter Storm Jonas, an occurrence that perfectly encapsulated an East Coast blizzard. According to USA Today, this meteorological event caused the most immense snowfall ever recorded in three cities: Baltimore, Maryland (29.2 inches); Allentown, Pennsylvania (31.9 inches); and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (34 inches). As of 8AM on Sunday, New York City received a whooping 26.8 inches, with snow blanketing concrete sidewalks, towering works of architecture, and countless cars.
The above statistics kept many residents indoors as they admired the snowy scenery from behind frost-covered windows. After all, officials up and down the coast urged citizens to stay indoors and avoid travel. Even without such warnings, crowds of people preferred to stay bundled up and only ventured outside for food, emergency supplies, and to walk their dogs.
Then again, there were those who saw the winter weather as an artistic opportunity. Despite the freezing cold temperatures, howling winds, and snowflakes falling as far as the eye can see, many photographers gathered their gear, bundled up, and prepared to capture Jonas in all its wintertime glory. Essentially, these artists saw the snow as an awaiting subject, one that alters the world and adds a bit of frosty magic to whatever surface it touches. Instead of viewing the weather as a nuisance, photographers saw it as an image enhancer, one that can make for that perfect, seasonal shot.
In locales such as New York City and Washington, D.C., iconic landmarks were transformed. We’ve all seen such city-based monuments countless times, yet the snow provides a different perspective. When each flake settles on a work of architecture just so, it can cause viewers to notice details they may not ordinarily observe in the plain light of day. The white snow can highlight every curve, angle, and feature in ways we’ve never perceived before.
Even before the snowflakes hit the ground, photographers can find beauty in the falling, white fluff. By adjusting their camera’s settings, artists can portray the snowflakes in many different lights (literally). They can make the flakes the main focus of the shot or they can instead choose to make them an understated, background element. Above all, the snowfall can add motion, drama, and excitement to a shot, so it’s no wonder why many choose to brave this kind of weather.
What’s perhaps most interesting about blizzards such as Winter Storm Jonas is the silence they create. With so many people inside, the world quickly becomes quiet and still. There are only a few people outside, so artists can instead focus on the scenery, wildlife, and architecture that surrounds them. With that being said, human subjects can strengthen a shot in these conditions. For instance, two people, holding hands, while walking under a bridge can all of the sudden seem impeccably beautiful when they’re the only two people for miles around. Snowstorms can add an overwhelming sense of peace to the busiest cities, creating a mood that’s ideal for artists who want to capture something distinctive and thought-provoking.
When all is said and done, the winter weather can be an inconvenience – but it can also provide us with an endless amount of creative ideas and works of art. We often forget that snow revamps our surroundings and, thus, can make for unique snapshots that offer a different viewpoint. The photographs we’ve selected for this post prove just that, giving us all a chance to see that braving a storm like Jonas is definitely worth it – especially if you have a one-of-a-kind shot in mind.
A study of companionship in isolation. (And patience as I froze my butt off in the blizzard last night waiting for this shot.) #blizzard2016 #jonas #centralpark #themall #blackandwhite #friends #companions #isolation #blizzard #snow #snowstorm #blindingwhite #patience #winter #nyc #newyork #withmytamron #bw #classic #makeportraits #exploretheabyss
I think what I love most about a snowstorm in the city is that it instantly transforms a familiar photographic playground into something entirely new and unique. So much variability is introduced, and at the intersections of circumstance, lie the moments I seek to capture. #blizzard2016 on #thosenewyorkstreets
You're my wanderer, little wanderer Off across the sea You're my wanderer, little wanderer Won't you wander back to me. • Washington Square Park, NYC – Blizzard 2016 . Washington Square Arch, was built in 1889 to celebrate the centennial of George Washington's inauguration. It is made of white Westchester marble, and was modeled after the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, which itself was modeled on the Arch of Titus in Rome. It stands 77 feet high, the piers stand 30 feet apart and the arch opening is 47 feet high. The iconography of the Arch centers on images of war and peace. On the frieze are 13 large stars and 42 small stars interspersed with capital "W"s. The spandrels contain figures of Victory. And, like the Arch de Triomphe, cars no longer pass under the arch as they once did. . #FactsAreRad #sonyalpha #blizzard2016 #NYC #newyork #discoveraround #Mkexplore #letsgosomewhere #wildnewyork #Instagramnyc #ig_northamerica #bevisuallyinspired #snowday #jonasblizzard #exploremore #nichehomebase #mashablizzard2016
Eerie mood last night at the pilings. There were only three other people walking through the park from the pilings south to Pier 5 and somehow I missed running into @otografia 😳. Be smart and stay safe if you're going out today. The roads may look passable now but the worst of the storm is on its way. —————————————————— Braving the cold and snow with @nyclovesnyc Two frames shot with my Nikon D7000 and Nikkor 18mm – 140mm lens —————————————————— A special thank you to the following hubs: @usaprimeshot @ig_unitedstates_ —————————————————— #udog_peopleandplaces #ig_sharepoint #igbest_shotz #igs_world #ig_global_life #global_hotshotz #loves_world #igworldquest #fantastic_captures #famouscaptures #jaw_dropping_shots #ig_impulse #sky_high_architecture #thecreative #famouscaptures #click_N_share #amazing_longexpo #splendid_xposure #tv_longexposure #ig_shutterbugs_le #longexpohunter #longexposureoftheday #ic_streetlife #ic_longexpo #igs_nyc #nikonnofilter #daltonimages #gregroxphotog #LumePic #nightshooterz #best_skyshots
Featured photo by Grant Friedman used with permission.