Archive for the 'winter: snow and ice' Category



09
Jan
11

1/9/2011: If dancing water froze

Happy Sunday!

I suppose there is no real surprise here…other than the fact that it is possible. This is what even the most rapidly flowing, swirling, jumping water coming down a little series of falls in Maine looks like when it freezes. It captures the motion in solid form. It turns the music of the rapids into intricate folds and fingers of ice. How? I will admit, I can not quite imagine it.

But then I don’t really need an explanation. It is enough to find it there on my walk…to see it for what it is…and to bring it home to share with you…to bear witness.

It is an instance of truth that must be seen to be believed, and that, once seen, is sufficient to itself.

It is Sunday, and you might be ahead of me with where this image is leading me. Because, of course, what I see and appreciate in this image shares an identity with what I see and most appreciate in the spirit. The essence of faith is that it is possible even when we can’t imagine how…but it is also truth apprehended, seen, touched, felt, experienced…that is sufficient to itself, beyond the need for explanations. Like dancing water frozen and yet in still in motion, truth is something we must experience, and that we can only bear witness to. With no spiritual camera to bring back the evidence to share, I have no choice but to become the dancing water, to let the frozen motion form within me, to let truth perceived shape my life into a living witness.

In that sense, what matters here is the taking of the image, and its sharing, not so much the image itself.

Canon SX20IS at 560mm equivalent, f5.7 @ 1/200th @ ISO 200. Snow Mode.

Processed for clarity and intensity in Lightroom.

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08
Jan
11

1/8/2011: the corner of simple and green

Sometimes you see an image very clearly, but when you attempt to frame it, it turns out harder than you thought. That was the way here. Simple image. I saw it right away.  It then took me an inordinate amount of time to find the angle, zoom setting, and particular section of branch. Still, I like it.

Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, ME.

Canon SX20IS at 180mm equivalent, f5 @ 1/250@ ISO 125. Snow Mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

07
Jan
11

1/7/2010: Icy Kiss!

Take one more look at the image before you read all about the difficulties of making it.

A little curl of water and lacy ice surrounded by snow, and an all but impossible exposure problem. I decided to let the snow go completely white, in order to bring some light and life to the flowing water and some texture to the ice. I tried it both ways. This is one of those cases where I over-ruled the built in Snow Mode using Exposure Compensation.  Unfortunately, the snow goes gray very quickly, if you decrease exposure, and the water goes too dark. All in all I prefer this standard Snow Mode treatment. The tight crop, is, of course, to emphasize the pattern of ice and water.

This is what it looks like pulled back a bit.

You can see from the dappled light patterns that the adjacent snow happened to be in sun patches on both sides. 

Canon SX20IS at 290mm equivalent, f5 @ 1/80th @ ISO 200. Snow Mode.

Wide shot at 70mm equivalent, f4 @ 1/160 @ ISO 80, also Snow Mode.

Ah yes…but that is just technique…the image either stands as it is, or it does not.

Works for me. 🙂

06
Jan
11

1/6/2011: Baston Brook Buried

Emmon’s Preserve fills a bow in Baston Brook (river?) where the stream descends over rock ledges on its final run to the sea. The little falls, swirling rapids, and quiet pools there have given me a lot of entertainment over the years.

When I hiked in the other day after our December blizzard, I don’t know exactly what I expected, but it was certainly not to find the stream all but buried in snow.

For contrast, here is a very similar view from last March.

I was standing slightly further to the right in the top shot, simply because I did not know, after the blizzard, where land stopped and water began under the drifts, and I was not about to find out the hard way.

Today’s shot, Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f4 @ 1/250th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode. March shot much the same but 1/125th and Landscape Mode.

Both processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity.

04
Jan
11

1/4/2011: Never so red

So briar berries are always red…but never so red as when the bushes are covered in blown snow. This bush was at the edge of the drift and and the snow deposited on the branches was blown through the bush, where the force of the wind dropped enough to drop the snow its way out. It produces a unique effect, with each branch being, in effect, its own little drift.

I have broken composition rules here by placing the red berries in the center of the frame. It works for me because of the other two berries forming a triangle toward the right, and because of the larger mass of snow in the upper left which creates an effective diagonal corner to corner. I did not, mind you, think all that out while taking the shot. (For one thing it was far too cold for that kind of thinking 🙂 ) But my instincts, my eye, worked for me without thinking. In this case. I think.

Canon SX20IS at 560mm equivalent, f5.7 @ 1/640th @ ISO 125. Snow Mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom (see page link above).

03
Jan
11

1/3/2010: sculpted by the wind, revealed by the light

While we are looking at drifts….

Snow is an interesting medium for the wind to sculpt. Unlike sand, it has, when the temperatures are just right, some coherence of its own. It can and does assume shapes sand could never manage. This limits what the wind can do with it, but it also gives rise to classic curves, edges, and ledges…to undercuts and overhangs…to the closest thing to what water does with soft stone that wind can manage. The difference is, of course, that stone endures. These shapes are long melted to an undistinguished mound.

And then you have the shadows and light.

Canon SX20IS, 180mm equivalent, 1) f5 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 80. 2) f5@ 1/800th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lighroom.

02
Jan
11

1/2/2011: Tracks in the drift

Happy first Sunday of 2011!

Some brave soul drove down this road at Laudholm farm after the December blizzard, which was nice for me, since I could not have made it out this far without snowshoes or skis through unbroken drifts. This is the road after the tracks stopped, and that snow is waste deep.

I love, again, what wind and light can do with snow.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. Both f4 @ 1/1000 @ ISO 80 and Snow Mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

At it is true in spiritual terms too. You can get further out if you flow the tracks of same brave soul (especially one in a high powered, high clearance vehicle with 4 wheel drive!) but what makes it worth the effort at all is the unbroken snow (spiritual ground) at the end of the beaten track. You may only be able to stand and look, but what flows back to you from that place you can’t go is the stuff that fills your soul and sends you back home along the beaten track satisfied. Or so it did me.

Smile