Monday, November 14, 2016

Firstie Freezie!

Still in Illinois and still enjoying the remarkable string of great Fall weather! Seems we've been enjoying blue skies and few rains - virtually ALL of the crops have been harvested, as seen on my trip to Iowa yesterday. In decades past we've gone well into December, so harvest completion by mid-November is a good thing for the farmers. We just had our first freeze the other night, a full month later than the median date of 11 October (median date indicates half of first freeze is before, half after, for average of last 30 years).

With the success of my "dewdrop" pictures out in the yard a week or two ago, when I woke to find the white frosting on the lawn, I ran for the camera and tripod and went to work. The setup is the same from the dew shots, 100mm macro, full-frame Canon 6D and about 3cm of extension tube for more magnification. Now I've shot and posted some frost pictures before with great results from a few years back. But I suspect my techniques have improved some over the years, so was looking forward to shooting more. After the spectacular shots of the dandelion seed heads in the dewdrop post, I was on the lookout for more dandelions, but you know, if there were any, they were well-disguised among the frost crystals! I swore that the image at right was a dandelion until I started looking it on the computer - it might be a seed head, but is not a dandelion - still some interesting crystals on it...

I still use the focus-stacking technique to combine several images to keep the full range of the image in focus. I've found that for full-resolution viewing though, only the range of focus of the area of interest needs to be stacked. So some of these are only a few combined frames. At left is a leaf where all 19 exposed frames were taken, which takes a lot of processing time to stack them all. At right is a close-up with only 8 frames which takes less time with no decrease in sharpness.

I know little about frost formation. The little reading I've done shows there are multiple kinds of frost depending on humidity and temperature of air and surfaces. But there are some really interesting-looking crystals that almost look like hollow tubes in these pictures. Will have to keep at it, and try to get closer still! As it was, kneeling in the wet cold grass was still worth the results, I think!


Anonymous said...

many of these images remind me of a book i fell in love with in the early 70s. it was called "living water" by David Cavagnaro and Ernest Braun. I bought the book at the Arizona State University bookstore, and savored the many fantastic photos celebrating water in so many of its various forms. the crystalline structures of ice so beautiful and so fleeting, so delicate, and potentially destructive. it was a unique book for its time, in fact i bought another paperbound copy a few months later and removed many of (imho) the best images, framed them and they graced the walls of my surroundings during college. with several of the photos i paired the images with various text of several Robert Frost poems. and this only reinforced the interest i had in New England where I went to live for a time after college. from the desert to the mountainous lands of ice and snow. They worked together quite well.

your images of dew drops and ice crystals brought back this memory. very nice images. I believe David Cavagnaro now lives in Iowa with his wife Maggie. a farmer a photographer a naturalist and a seed saver, if you get a chance visit his webpage

Fire and Ice
Robert Frost
From: "New Hampshire" 1923

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Anonymous said...

and not to be missed, the webpage of ernest braun 1921-2010

the photo on this part of his website is the subject cover photo of "living water" called world in a dew drop, Yosemite, 1965. stunning photographs and an amazing legacy

Anonymous said...

this has taken me further down memory lane.... there is a favorite story i like to tell about new england. after college my first purchase with my first paycheck was a Nikon FM body and a 35 mm Nikkor lens. my second purchase was a bicycle. I took both with me to new england. On an outing one day near Franconia Notch, New Hampshire home of "the old man of the mountain" a few of us were hiking in the snow. more adventurous individuals chose to do a bit of ice climbing. nope not me, just tromped in the snow taking photos with my nikon. some time had passed and I found a small boulder upon which to sit and change film. i noticed that the enamel letter "i" on my Nikon was missing. maybe it just was too cold and fell out of its home in the aluminum indentation on the front of the camera. it was there when i left home and now gone. likely fallen into the ice and snow covered ground in the woods of New Hampshire. I still have that camera and tell the story that my nikon's "i" lives in the snow and ice near the old man of the mountain, keeping an eye on him, or keeping an eye on the woods quite literally somewhere "North of Boston"