By Andre Johnson
Guanajuato is a city in central Mexico that at noon on February 10 is a warm 62 degrees. In Michigan at the same time it is 25 degrees. As for snow, neither has any at this time.
After living in Guanajuato for 13 years, Freshman Victor Lara came to live in Michigan and hoped to see snow for the very first time in his life.
In November, he got the chance but the native Michiganders kept saying to just wait because that was nothing.
So he waited. And waited.
Like Victor, we began to ask if we are going to experience winter this year or did it forget to come?
Living in Michigan, every year snow is a given. Being a Michigan native, snow is just a thing to me but there are people from my school who couldn’t wait to see snow.
Chinese Language teacher Ms. Cilantro was very excited to see the first snow. A guest teacher from China, she says she loves the first snow because it is “good luck.”
Finally, we got lots of snow. Dozen of small flakes falling from the sky and sticking to the ground. While the only thing on my mind was a snow day from school, I could only imagine how happy Victor would be to see it fall. I could not wait to see him in school, following the snow day of course, so I could ask how he enjoyed it and what did he do. Another question I had to ask was if it was everything he expected and was he bothered by the cold.
We would be able to get a photo of Victor in lots of snow but then we got the call with the two best words any high school student wants to hear: SNOW DAY!
Not a problem. We would get a photo of Victor when we came back to school. Little did we know that we would have the rest of the week off due to extreme cold.
When we finally got back to school a week later, it was 50 degrees outside and raining. All of the snow was gone. Seriously?
While some may seem to be wondering where the snow is this winter, others rejoice and enjoy the time without it while that is still an option. Some hate the snow because they feel as if it never brings anything good.
The feature photo of this article showcases Kesete Tesfagabher who came this year from Eritrea, South Africa. Kesete, who saw snow for the first time this year, is no longer impressed.
“I never had to wear a coat in South Africa. Snow is not for me,” said Tesfagabher.
Fellow Journalist Devin Gamache did take full advantage of the snow and slapped on some warm boots and his Cannon Rebel T6 in order to capture some snow photography. In the photo story below, he describes his process.
There was so much natural light because the snow is a natural reflector. I loved how the light illuminated this paper birch tree.
Bridge Less Traveled
Often the camera’s meter tries to compensate for all of the light on a sunny day of snow which makes the snow appear grey. Making sure the snow was actually its true white color took some tinkering.
Following the light led me to the color of this faucet which was a beautiful contrast to the snow. Getting the cool shadow was another benefit of the cold day. Nature Photographer Moose Peterson reminded me that “Cold air is clearer and there are often ice crystals in the air that cause light to diffract; you get really brilliant, pretty-picture colors.”
It is so peaceful after a snowfall and after walking around, I was surprised to see this little guy. I was trying hard not to get any footprints in my photos and did not think I would have to avoid squirrel prints.
The Memories of Summer
Once again the contrast of the dark and light makes for a beautiful photograph. It is also the contrast of a symbol of summer and the imagined laughter of children to the very quiet and empty playground of winter.
Update on Feb 12, we now have lots of snow and Thurston is off for a snow day. Michigan, you are just so sneaky.