While my time at GoLocalWorcester kept me busy with Senate special elections, city council meetings, and other newsy stuff, I was always happy to don another voice for the lighter stories. I went to openings at the local science museum, covered street art fairs, and watched some of New England’s most physically fit bike their way up the steepest hill in the city.
It’s hard to say what events were the most rewarding, but definitely one of the most challenging was covering the blizzard that earned Worcester’s the record snowfall amount in winter 2012-2013. That… was a doozy.
This year, the city I live in won the “Golden Snow Globe” award for being the snowiest city in the nation with a population over 100,000 people. We received 108.9 inches. (If you can consider that something worthy of praise.) While I’m pretty sick of snow at this point, I had a ton of chances to capture it, big and small. Macro shots of the snow were a lot of fun, and made me think about composition a lot differently.
Things get a little more difficult, I found, when you’re dealing with such a narrow depth of field and small subject.
Here are some shots of the aftermath of the blizzard that hit New England this past weekend. Before the storm, I couldn’t imagine everything covered in 2+ feet of snow, and after it hit, it looked as strange as I imagined it.
Unlike winters past, there was no snow on the ground before Nemo, and the storm completely changed the landscape, transforming everything into another world.
…At least that’s what I’m coining it for now. Worcester got hit pretty hard, but of course those 60 mph winds and driving, piling snow didn’t keep me inside. Check out photos from my excursions.
After the recent weather-related fiasco, like many of my peers and others across the North Atlantic and New England, I took photos of the damage. The downed trees, smashed car windows, and power outages made the city look like a war zone, and the unusual October snow was also worth documenting. Also like most, I posted some of my documentation on Facebook. One of my professors had done the same and was talking about it before class. “…I put them on Facebook,” she paused and looked around blankly with a faint smile. “Why do we do this?” she asked abruptly.
The landscape in Worcester, MA. Photo by Ashley Klann. Not to be reused without permission.
It is a funny thing. Before the Internet, would we have gone out of our way to show everyone our photos of weather-related damage in the area? Probably not.
Something else related to the event was the power outages. I know someone who lost power for a few days and was at her house when it went out. Immediately, she said, “Oh, I’ll just get online and check to see when…” Oh. Right. The internet. Wireless router. Two and two came together, and she realized just how much of an inconvenience it was. Many I’ve talked to have experienced this same feeling that comes with that – the sensation that you’re missing out. Somehow, just when you lose that lifeline to the world and are isolated to just what’s immediately around you, surely everything is happening elsewhere. And you’re missing out on it. I’m not just talking about what status updates your friends posted, but all the news and important world events taking place. Surely you’ve missed out on something important. What if…
But then, once your Clark Mail is back at your fingertips, CNN tells you the rest of the world still exists, and you catch up on all the mundane crap your friends are doing (and all their photos of the downed trees), you can rest easy. Ah, the internet.
If the outside world has started looking strange to you, don’t worry. We’re all just adjusting to seeing some color other than white on the ground. I think I’ve forgotten what earth looks like without a blanket of snow.
Uncovering cars after one of this winter's heavy snows.
As we exit another Ice Age, relics are starting to appear from under all the melting snow. Every year, the piles of once pristine precipitation turn into disgusting, solid masses of blackened detritus, sealing inside them all the crap that’s usually around and goes unnoticed. We recently relocated a recycling bin. There was a lone shoe outside Razzo. Red Solo cups are also appearing, and thanks to so many snows on trash nights, there’s plenty of garbage hidden as well.
Trash is pretty much the modern equivalent of fossils. When the human race finally exhausts all of the natural resources and we’ve doomed ourselves to Mother Nature’s vengeful destructive wrath, that’ll be our time capsule – the beer cans, pizza boxes, and annoying weekly coupon fliers that no one signs up for in the first place. Future civilizations will pick them up and laugh at the irony.