The weekend weather forecast was good so my friend Court and I headed out for a day trip. We left the city about 8:30AM, and stayed out until the sun set around 4:00PM. The days are pretty short around here in the winter months. Another three weeks and we will experience the winter solstice, the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. The "mostly sunny skies" that were in the forecast really didn't materialise. We chased some blue skies all day, and tried to catch a little light, but mostly conditions remained overcast and dull. We spent the day exploring up northeast of the city, mostly in Lamont County.
Our first stop was at an old abandoned schoolhouse and this was one of the few times that the sun broke out a little. This was shortly after 11:00AM, and it was still pretty cold. The thermometer on the truck read -10C, but it felt colder than that, and my fingers were soon numbed from handling the metal camera.
We explored for a while in the town of Hairy Hill. I had photographed here many times before, but it was new to Court. I didn't take any snapshots here but did set up the 4x5 a couple of times for some images of the old buildings. I've included a scan of a large format negative that I shot here about a year ago.
Later in the day we just scouted around and drove grid roads for many miles in all directions. We found a number of places that looked like they were worth returning to under better conditions. Mostly it was the light that put a damper on things as the temperature rose a little, and wasn't all that bad. There really wasn't any wind so that made things quite pleasant. We eventually found a majestic old mansion but by this time the light was fading and there wasn't much opportunity to shoot anything more than a few snapshots. But this, as well as a couple other locations, are definitely worth returning to.
I find that at this time of year, when we are lucky enough to get a mild day with clear skies, I need to have a set agenda in place. With the short daylight hours there just isn't time to do much exploring. You need to have a destination planned and head there and shoot it. Although the low winter light can be spectacular, it just doesn't last all that long.