The shot of the week came about on Thursday morning during my commute; yes, there may be a pattern here, as you may have noticed that I’m often inspired during morning travel.
The quality of the light was that beautiful warm tone, that occurs on chilly days when the air is nice and clear. As I traversed into Westborough, Massachusetts, I decided to stop near a pond that I had frequented before and check out what caught my attention.
In all honesty, I had first thought to do something with the way the sun’s light was playing across the trees, but the sun was still too low in the sky for the desired effect. As I walked along a path, my eye caught the tall grasses with still quite a bit of frost on them; I thought they looked pretty interesting in this color light.
Now, all I had to solve was how to make it pop in the image with just my iPhone as a tool. You can see what I did: put the sun behind a fence post, get low enough and ensure that the focus is on the front grasses to create some extra depth in the image.
As we’re wrapping up the week, I figured it might be a good opportunity to look back a couple of years, when I took this photograph. Although I didn’t give it a title right away, I have come to call this image ‘Winter Revisited’; this sprang forth more from going back to this image again and again than anything in the subject matter, other than the obvious.
This shot was taken on February 7, 2014, at Rocky Pond in Boylston, Massachusetts; this is along one of the variants of my commute. I had pulled over, because I wanted to see what could be done with the sun’s warm glare off the ice, juxtaposed against the blue of the morning sky. Nothing really satisfied my desire to create something worthwhile, so I walked a bit along the edge of the pond.
That is when I noticed the frost still on this small brush and how the frost had grown into fractal patterns along the branches and twigs. Looking through the frosty brush toward the sun, the overhanging tree provided a nice bit of framing to the photo. All in all, I felt, and still feel, pretty good about the end result.
You’ll notice that a good percentage of my photography doesn’t adhere to the standard edict of keeping the sun in your back to properly light your subject. There are plenty of times when that is a good idea, but I find that allowing light to come from some more unconventional angles can provide dramatic images. Of course, for portrait photography it is not at all unusual to put the sun behind your subjects and use flash to light them; that provides for pleasing edge lighting (aka hair lighting) and full control of the light you put on their faces.
Using the sun to a similar effect in landscape images provides rather nice results, such as in this image, where the hoar frost gets to stand out rather than disappear.
This photo was taken with an iPhone 5S. With a minor bit of Photoshop work, I was able to enlarge the image for a large print with rather dramatic results. Thus far, I have printed it on 2’x2′ acrylic, which lifts the glow from the sun’s glare off the ice even more.
Hopefully you enjoyed this image, and, thank you for reading my ramblings!
Things have gotten a little chilly in New England, as Winter has made her entrance with customary aplomb blasting arctic winds into the area.
Of course, people’s reactions to the influx of frigid air are rather predictable: When does it end? When does Spring start? Personally, I embrace Winter with all its stark beauty and snow-drifted landscapes, so I look forward to the month of February, which usually can be counted on to deliver.
Last year, I went on a short tour of the Northern Massachusetts and New Hampshire coast with John Slonina Nature Photography ( Slonina Nature Photography Blog ) at the end of January. The weather was bitter cold with quite a bit of wind and bright sun; in other words, it made for fantastic photography and even a couple of amusing little snaps, such as ‘Ice Anyone?’.
I’ll be sure to share some of the images from that day in upcoming posts, and, hopefully, some from this year; after all, I invested in a heated fleece that will keep me warm for 6 hours… It will be used!
For those souls, who are asking about the onset of Spring, I offer the main image with this post as a sign of hope. Taken a little less than five years ago at a point when the ice was almost all gone and the first notes of green started returning to the trees. Yes, it shall return, but for now let’s really enjoy Winter!