All of the rain that has been pounding the area for the past several weeks also brought lots of snow to the nearby mountains, so yesterday, we drove to Wrightwood (an hour and a half drive) for a day of fun in the snow. Our intent was to avoid all of the Big Bear ski resort traffic since our fun didn’t involve skiing or snowboarding, but we ended up having to drive by Mountain High (where the parking situation seems to be a total nightmare) on the way to the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center, where we were greeted with A LOT of fresh snow!
Seriously, it was pure serendipity that we went to an area with many feet of fresh powder, on a beautiful sunny day, on a holiday weekend. This was the ideal snow day and will be a tough precedence to beat. I mean, we were able to do EVERYTHING we could ever want to do during a snow day. First of all, the snow was deep and in many of the spots we played in, we were the first to be there – so we got to leave footprints on fresh snow! We had a snowball fight, we made a snow ‘man’ (or snow obelisk or snow phallus, depending on your interpretation), and snow angels…we even got to test the weather resistance of my new-to-me K-S2 and DA 18-50 WR combo!
Speaking of cameras, all of the pictures are SOOC “Reversal Film” jpeg output from either the K-S2 or the Q10 – ‘P’ mode (or as I like to call it, Professional Mode). The bright snow in contrast with the trees would have been pure hell for my Olympus 4/3 DSLRs and I would have had to post-process all of the pictures to deal with blown highlights. With the Pentax kit, the matrix metering and jpeg output managed to control everything quite nicely! I had started to edit a few of the RAW images, but honestly, I really liked the jpegs from the camera.
Shannon took most of the pictures with the K-S2 while I played with the kids and built my snow structure…hence, I left the K-S2 ‘P’ mode. Here I am hugging my snow structure and saying goodbye. I had planned on just building a massive pile of snow and then carving away at it to produce the David of snowmen, where, like Michelangelo, I would have just used my emotions and visions over the course of two years to create a magnificent statue out of a single piece of marble, but in this case, snow. However, I had neither two years, nor tools for carving snow, so in the end, it looked quite inappropriate – and even more inappropriate when I hugged it.
In any case, at web resolution, it’s VERY DIFFICULT to tell the difference between the two shots below. One was taken with the Q10 and its ‘measly’ 1/2.7″ sensor, and the other was taken with the K-S2 with its APS-C sensor, though truth be told, I did use HDR mode with the Q10 for the shot below, so it took three consecutive shots at different EV values and combined them into one.
The second picture is from the Q10. Coincidentally, immediately after taking that series of pictures (where I happened to be standing under a tree), a LOT of snow fell off of the tree and directly on me and the Q10 – which isn’t weatherproof. I brushed off the snow and put it away…it still works (at least as of yesterday when I extracted the pictures).
It was a perfect snow day for a Southern Californian family. Using Waze made the drive from Irvine to Wrightwood really easy; we were navigated to take the back route into Wrightwood since Hwy 2 was at a standstill due to all of the people driving to Mountain High. Unfortunately, even though it took us an hour and a half to drive from home to the Mountain Hardware shop in Wrightwood (so I could buy a USFS parking pass), it took another hour and a half from there to Grassy Hollow – to drive less than 15 miles.
Seriously – Mountain High needs to invest in a parking structure.