The Blizzard of 2015

The forecast was dire; The Weather Channel was calling for an historic 2-3 feet of snow in NYC.

Reports like that excite me.  To get unique pictures  you have to take advantage of unique opportunities and do things others don't do. Let's face it, most people don't want to go outside in a blizzard -- I love the idea!  I was like a kid knowing that school was cancelled and I could play in the snow. The heaviest snow fall was supposed to be between 2:00 and 5:00 in the morning, perfect timing for capturing early morning light and untracked powder. So as the snow fell and the winds picked up the night before, I readied my gear and went to bed early. I awoke at 4am and dressed in layers, first the silk long underwear, followed by the Marino wool long-johns; next came a pair of jeans and a pair of ski pants.  On top I had the same two layers of long underwear, a turtleneck, a heavy wool shirt, a fleece jacket and my Antarctica Parka.  I was set for the worst. I kept the gear light: camera, one lens, cable release, extra battery, two lens cloths, mini flashlight and my Gitzo tripod.

I love shooting Central Park in the snow when no one has been there yet, so I trudged off in the darkness; it was 4:40am.  Unfortunately, the subways were shut down and I had to walk uptown for 3 miles.  When I got to Columbus Circle the Park entrances were gated with signs posted saying "Park Closed".  How could they close Central Park?  The Mayor thought the heavy snow might bring down trees and kill park-goers so he closed the park.  While I'm not usually an unlawful person, I figured this was a time for exceptions and when I got to the 72nd Street entrance I hopped the fence and scurried quickly away from the main road.  Central Park is beautiful, even more so when blanketed in fresh snow.  I did encounter two other people but the park was mostly empty, which lent a strange feeling of isolation and solitude considering about 5 million people live in a 5 mile radius of the park.

Working in the Bethesda Terrace area, I photographed a number of scenes, including the plaza, the fountain and even the Bow Bridge.  I did a few miscellaneous shots, as well.  I only saw a total of 5 people the whole time.  After about an hour of shooting I was getting hungry and decided to leave; just then the cops drove by and yelled at me on their loudspeaker, I waved to them and packed up my tripod.

So while the big "Blizzard of 2015" only amounted to about 8 inches of snow, I still got some great shots and had a blast.  I look forward to the next big snowstorm.

The Angel of the Waters statue of Bethesda Fountain through the arches of the terrace.                                                               ISO 400, 2.5 sec. f11, 62mm lens.

The Angel of the Waters statue of Bethesda Fountain through the arches of the terrace.                                                               ISO 400, 2.5 sec. f11, 62mm lens.

Two people trudge through the snow at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park.                ISO 400, 1 sec. f5.6, 24mm lens.

Two people trudge through the snow at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park.                ISO 400, 1 sec. f5.6, 24mm lens.

The Bow Bridge, considered one of the most romantic spots in NYC and usually busy with people is only covered in snow this blizzard morning.     ISO 400, 1/4 sec. f11, 24mm lens.

The Bow Bridge, considered one of the most romantic spots in NYC and usually busy with people is only covered in snow this blizzard morning.     ISO 400, 1/4 sec. f11, 24mm lens.