A friend of mine really liked this place and would come here for his walks, exploring more and more trails and additional areas to see. I came here this past Saturday too and spent several hours walking in the snow mostly on the trails that do not get plowed to soak the winter mood in. It was a little warmer than I'd prefer but it was a nice winter day nevertheless. I definitely ventured into areas I had not been to before.
What place is that? Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora, about 20 miles southeast from Buffalo, NY.
Once at home, I looked around the Internet to learn more and found that there was definitely lot more walking and photography to be done. I also found a nice overview of the history behind Knox Farm. I've placed links to these resources at the end of this post.
I really wanted to explore the park more and get at least a little bit beyond the beaten path. I also had a photographic idea in my head that I was not sure would work, but was really open to being surprised by circumstances.
What I like about winter photography is that it lands itself really well to minimalism. Snow covers lots of otherwise present distractions and photographs can really focus on the important elements. I took advantage of that in several photographs and the first one is no exception. Really a bare minimum of elements. The old wooden fence with some twigs for mood and a sea of white around. Yes, the snow was walked in before and is not a pristine puffy blanket but I think it still works well. It also leaves another opportunity for a different look next time.
Knox Farm GarageKnox Farm Winter Theme The next photograph of the garage is from the stables area and has a greenhouse attached on the left side. I really liked the building and walked around for quite a while exploring different angles. First, I moved around along the road but was not too happy with a straight shot of just the building. It felt like something was missing. In the end, I found what I was looking for by stepping back and framing the photograph through the trees. Even that was not to my liking at first though since the trunks were in the shade and showed up as mostly silhouettes along the edges of the photo. With the help of my external off-camera flash, I provided enough light for the trunks to pop up nicely.
The ceiling glass tiles of the greenhouse seemed to have suffered a bit in the recent snowstorm and some were missing, but not too many.
Once done with this photo, I considered another long side trail and extending my walk but in the end decided it was enough for the day and slowly started heading back, still looking for more opportunities. An old tree caught my eye, but I was unable to find an angle I would like and passed on that opportunity leaving an open door for the next visit. Maybe it will look all different with a more dramatic sky, or with a sky of blue.
Winter at Knox FarmKnox Farm Winter Theme That led me to the next photo, which was my last one for the day. Again, a very simple concept, with the curve of a foreground field setting the photo in winter and a simple tree line lining the edge. Snow clouds above to complete the Western New York winter mood, with an interesting hole that sun was using to peak down on Earth.
I played with the composition of this photo for a bit, trying to decide whether to include more or less of the snowy foreground. You can see what won in the end. There was not enough snow to perfectly cover the whole field and whatever was peeking through was going against my theme of simplicity. As such, the overcast sky won a bigger part of the frame.
Final photo you say, hmm. So what is the next one doing here you ask. That is a good question. I decided not to present the photos in this post chronologically. So the photo I am closing with was actually taken first at the beginning of my walk. it just felt like the right closing shot for a wonderful winter day of photography.
Back to the beginning and my idea for this photo outing. Did I capture it? No, I did not. I came close with the last, ... wait, the first photo. It had a fence leading into the distance in a snow filled landscape. It did not, however, go up an otherwise empty snow-covered hill and disappear over the horizon. Neither was it as devoid of other elements for heightened simplicity. Serendipity offered a surprise bonus in my opinion though. The two birdhouses provided a whole different dimension to a photo based on a leading fence line. And they, or one of them, confirmed the old photographers' saying: "if you see red, shoot it!".
I am sure you will see more photos from me from Knox Farm. Have fun!
Feel free to browse a collection of my Winter photographs too.
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