Photographing the change from Winter to Spring in New Hampshire

It’s always a challenge to switch from Winter to Spring here in New Hampshire. The mountains hold onto winter longer, delaying the appearance of spring flowers until mid to late June. Meanwhile in the valleys warm, long days push flowers up along with water levels. For a photographer there is a window that is both a blessing and a curse. The snow down low looses it’s allure and turns to grey/brown slush and the green leaves and new growth of spring has yet to come forth, making it a chore to get out and shoot outside. Unless you head up high where winter is still in control for the most part, but that means prolonging your winter…. This year April still holds over a foot of snow in town and much more up high and at this point I’m thinking of warm spring days out on the river for trout, not swinging ice tools…. So as any good New England resident will do, we make the best of it.

Photograph of climber on the top of Pinnacle Buttress on a winter afternoon in Huntington Ravine, Mount Washington, New Hampshire.
Climber on the top of Pinnacle Buttress on a winter afternoon in Huntington Ravine, Mount Washington, New Hampshire.

Unfortunately, making the best of it involved wading in 38 degree water. The upside of it was being able to spend the day shooting an incredibly talented and dedicated volunteer rescuers. This small group is made up of local paddlers and fire fighters that form the White Mountain Swiftwater Rescue Team. This team works with New Hampshire Fish and Game and US Forest Service responding to swift water incidents, trapped swimmers, and other accidents that occur around our rivers and streams here in the White Mountains.

Swift water rescue team members training in frigid spring waters in New Hampshire.
WMSRT members training to respond to an unconscious swimmer in a river.

I love the change in seasons and as a photographer it keeps things fresh. It’s great to be able to work with non-profit organizations like WMSRT on one day and shoot ice climbing the next. The locations and backdrops of New England are varied as the people which is one of the reasons it’s worth suffering through the shoulder seasons because you never can tell what might come up.


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