The Environmental Impact of Snow in this Summer Weather

The Environmental Impact of Snow in this Summer Weather

I’ve always had a bit of a love hate relationship with snow. Just like every other driver and photographer does. It can produce some great images and give an extra challenge to a drive but it can also be a pain in the neck for everyday activity.

Winter sports are obviously on my Love list as usually when snow is involved every sport is at super speed, from skiing to tobogganing, there’s nothing quite like seeing the scenery go past in a blur.

So last weekend, as I enjoyed one of the hottest days of the year (since 2006) I was quite intrigued to see where the afternoon would take me. I’d been asked to shoot in snow in 27 degree heat.

So I set off with my camera and my crew to meet the client on the top of a snow covered hill.

Despite the beating sun on my back and the sheen of sunscreen on my nose, I was utterly convinced that I’d just walked into winter. It really did look like snow.

Snow photo shoot

Seven Types of Snow

As we set up I learned that there isn’t just one type of artificial snow, there’s seven or more, each producing different effects, each creating those scenes we see on our TV sets.

Those big ten foot high snow drifts? That’s display snow. Snow that gives a light dusting? That’s polymer snow. Snow that covers huge areas, like the gardens of stately homes, that’s snow membrane and snow that looks crunchy, deep and seems to have been around for a while? That’s papercel.

There’s so many different kinds, and so many different finishes that two or three have to be used in each shot or scene. On top of this, they give different appearances depending on the shot. For example, snow foam looks deep and crisp and even (couldn’t resist) in a long shot, shoot it close up and you have a light frosting of a blade of grass.

Take the Weather with You

As I got my head around the white stuff, I found that these guys were the best in business not just because of their range but because of their eco-friendly policy. It seems working with artificial weather requires a commitment to protecting the environment and these guys excel at that.

Snow photo shoot

Snow photo shoot

Snow photo shoot

They work from an old water mill and even grow their own fruit and veg, while ensuring their carbon footprint is minimal and chemicals used to create the snow don’t have an environmental impact. It’s pretty amazing that they can do all this and still create this massive winter scenes but they do, as their MD won the Outstanding Contribution to Nature in Gloucestershire by a Business Leader Award from the Wildlife Trust.

There’s definitely no business like Snow Business!

They certainly made it a set I won’t forget in a hurry!

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