When the Beast From the East thawed

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What a week it has been. I have been very busy repeatedly zooming down hills on sledges with the kids.

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With very little free time this week to dedicate to photography, I snuck out in the early hours of yesterday morning and took this atmospheric shot as the Beast from the East thawed.

While I’ve had a lot of fun, the week got off to a shocking start when I discovered, early on Monday morning, that someone had attempted to break into the house (more on the blog in the next few days). Dealing with this has kept me rather pre-occupied as I’ve had to improve our home security and assist the police with their enquiries.

Then of course, we’ve had the Beast From the East. In my area, this really was a huge let down.

I was very disappointed that the absolute worst we experienced was 5cms of snow. Even so, this was enough to keep school closed for four days and so when I haven’t been dealing with the police, I’ve been dealing with the children.

Although Helen and I had done a little sledging in the past, this was the first time the snow stuck around properly and so Helen, Izzy and I have been out most days, racing down hills at phenomenal speeds. I hadn’t been sledging like this since I was a boy and I won’t deny it, I’ve had great fun with the kids!

While we haven’t had much snow, so many people had been out sledging that they’d compacted the snow down making many of the nearby hills like luge runs. The conditions were perfect.

It has been a demanding week and while I had all sorts of plans to go and take various landscape photographs in the snow, it simply hasn’t happened. I did have it in mind to publish some long-exposure images I took shortly before the snow fell but on inspecting my work, the images simply weren’t good enough.

In desperation, I leapt into the car yesterday morning. There was a lot of mist and it looked very atmospheric.

I thought it was worth a punt. I present to you here the pictures I took in both black and white and colour. They’ll never win any awards, but I hope you’ll agree they capture the moment the Beast From the East started to thaw.

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A black and white image of the above photograph, Which do you think is best?

Regular readers may recognise the location. I took some long-exposure images from the same spot a few months ago of a passing train and you can see that photograph here.

As I often do, I have linked this post to the #MySundayPhoto linky hosted by the Photalife blog. It’s well worth visiting so please do click on the badge below to visit the linky and check out photography taken by other bloggers.



38 thoughts on “When the Beast From the East thawed”

  1. Ooh that’s a tough one. I think I like the colour best. I did the same thing with one of my pics and I thought you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference but just that tiny bit of colour made it better, in my opinion. Sorry to hear about your break in, I hope the police were helpful.

    1. The pics have divided opinion. I think I’m more persuaded by the B&W but it is interesting how that slight dash of colour makes such a difference.

  2. Not a good start John to the week, but the snow was fun we loved it fab shot yes starting to thaw very quickly here too! #mysundayphoto

    1. It was a pretty rubbish start to the week Nigel, yes. That said, our house is not such an easy target any more.

    1. You’re the second person to say that! I see what you mean. Wasn’t quite my attention but it does look eerie.

    1. Yes, actually that’s a very good point. The blue tint does pass on the cold temperature doesn’t it?

    1. Great minds think alike Catherine. that was, by the way, a reference to the photograph rather than the attempted break in.

    1. Oh to have snow in Somerset. it’s such a lovely climate and landscape for it. I bet you had huge fun.

  3. FOUR DAYS OFF SCHOOL?! My kids just had Friday off and my younger son’s school closed at lunchtime on Thursday. I’m jealous that you’ve been sledging, we didn’t manage it.
    I like the colour version of the photo best, although there isn’t really that much difference in them!

    1. Yes, four days. Four days. Not that I mind the school closing, but remain to be convinced this was entirely necessary. Anyway, i’ll stop there. no matter my opinion, headteachers simply can’t win!

  4. Think I prefer the black and white one. It looks like a picture taken in the 1950s showing how bad people used to have it with the snow compared k modern day global warming climates. But nope. This is the worst snow I’ve ever seen, even if I am only 26!

    Glad you got out and enjoyed it amidst the chaos. Had this been a few years down the line we would’ve done the same. Can’t sled as well with a ten month old, or maybe we were being overly cautious. #MySundayPhoto

    1. Ten months is a touch on the young side, yes! For me though it was a trip back to childhood. We flew down those hills! It was awesome. or should I say epic. That’s what my kids would say anyway!

    1. The snow really alters the landscape doesn’t it? Think I’m more taken by B&W but there isn’t much in it.

  5. Oh no, the attempted break in sounds horrible…hope you’re all ok! We had so much snow for about 5 days and our school only closed for one day. The headteacher is a bit hardcore here. Love the tracks, so uniform and parallel and with the disappearing horizon. I think I prefer the black and white one. It brings out the black and white a lot more!

    1. Yes, it does bring out the black and white a lot more. It’s the contrast isn’t it? I’d have loved to have had as much snow as you guys! That would have been fun.

  6. Oh no! How awful that someone had tried to break in. I hope they didn’t manage to take anything.
    Ahh! We had 3 days off school but the snow is all melting now…It sounds like you had a lot of fun.
    Fantastic photo x

    1. Thankfully no, they got away with nothing. And yes, we had great fun in the snow! Real quality time. It was great.

  7. Paul @ Topsy Turvy Tribe

    Definitely prefer the colour one more. I think the sky never looks quite right if it’s just one tone in a B&W shot. Hope the police gave some good tips, at least the burglars went away empty handed, still scary stuff. The sledging must have made you feel a bit better, such fun!

    1. Ahhh, interesting you like the colour one. I’m possibly more taken by B&W because of the contrast with the snow.

  8. It’s such a shame that someone tried to break into the house, at least you had the plus of quality time with the kids (even if you didn’t get as many photos). #MySundayPhoto

  9. Jade @ Captured By Jade

    Whilst both photos are atmospheric in their own right, there is just something about a black & white photo that pulls me in – especially snowy scenes. Although a busy week and not many photos taken, it sounds like your family had a lot of fun sledging! Sorry to hear about the attempted house break in; we’ve had something similar before and the aftermath isn’t easy.


    1. I think black and white adds atmosphere doesn’t it? I guess the contrast with the snow is what makes it.

    1. I hope the police can catch the culprit. It does look very wintery that scene doesn’t it? you wouldn’t know it now. Had some amazing sun this week.

    1. four days off was ridiculous Susan! I could see little reason to justify it. But we did a lot of sledging and baked a cake so it had some positives!

  10. Great post. The ‘Beast from the East’ reared its ugly head again last night, and covered my town on the east coast in a thick layer of powdery snow. Hopefully some warmer weather is on the way!

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