IN THE FIELD: Winter Photo Adventures

My wife and I first met in the middle of the winter a few weeks before Christmas. A few of our first dates consisted of “photo excursions.” We would explore local parks, or the streets of the town where she lived, or just go for a drive and see what we could find.

On one frigid afternoon, we went for a drive down a country lane and came across a group of frozen ponds near the road. We thought we might find interesting patterns in the ice to photograph.

We parked the car in a safe spot and gathered up the camera bag and tripod and headed through the brambles towards the ponds. As we got closer to the ponds we noticed the ice resembled what we called a Star Wars landscape. Apparently, freeze thaw cycles caused the ice to lower and break on the protruding rocks.

We got some shots of ice crystals near the edge of the pond, and some overall shots of the surroundings. We began to experiment with exposure settings and colored filters normally used for black and white photography, trying to duplicate how an alien landscape would appear.

My sister had just given me a polarizer filter for Christmas and we thought we should try that one to see the effect. I got the filter out of the camera bag and tried to hand it to my wife (girl friend at the time). But both our hands were so cold, the hand-off was a complete failure in coordination.

That brand new, never-been-used filter, dropped to the ice, and slid out to the middle of the pond like a hockey puck. She was horrified. “Oh No! David, I can’t believe I dropped your brand new filter! Lordie, you must think I am a bumbling idiot!”

I reassured her several times that our impromptu hockey game was an accident. After a few moments of laughter and teasing, we went on a quest for a long stick and ventured out onto the ice to retrieve the filter.

Had we been wearing warmer gloves that day, the old adage “there really is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” would not have come into play.

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  1. January 6, 2012 at 9:13 am

    That snap looks like something straight out of Mars. Cool! You two are just too cute 🙂

    • January 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Awww Thanks T, the ice looked pretty cool…but then when we started playing with the filters it really looked like another planet. We used a red filter and no other processing on this one.

  2. January 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

    great story, and a great reminder that we should be experimenting when we head out with the camera, not just taking the planned shots. I have yet to find an effective way to keep my fingers and toes warm, pocket pals are of some help, but limited.

    • January 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Thanks Janice, I/we are always experimenting…keeps it fresh. I have been investigating heated gloves and found that http://gerbing.com/ seem to be the best out there. They have fleece gloves that are battery operated. Expensive (150 bucks) but all the reviews I have read, rave about them. Need to save $$ so I can get a pair. My fingers go numb quickly. Oh yeah, I checked out your wedding pics…very creative!!
      Thanks for stopping by too!!!

  3. January 6, 2012 at 9:40 am

    What a wonderful story. And this shot, totally unexpected. 🙂 Love it.

    • January 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      Thanks Katie, we still laugh about it and the ice formations were totally unexpected too. We spent a few hours there…till our fingers froze!

  4. January 6, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Great story and wonderful photo of the “Red Planet”. 🙂

    • January 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks Bob, looks rather “other worldly” doesn’t it?

  5. January 6, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Very interesting shot – looks like a mini volcano in the background, it could be any scale!

    • January 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Pretty cool huh? Actually the volcano was about 4 feet in diameter. The pond was covered with them!

  6. January 6, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Love your experiment and the story! Glad you were able to retrieve the filter.

    • January 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks Karen, we found a dead sapling that was about 15 feet long…the ice was too thin to use anything shorter!

  7. January 6, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Dear David, I was expecting to find a white view… 🙂 This is amazing! And how romantic what you shared with us… Do you know what I thought after reading your story, this photograph is a place that you created together in your hearts… This is so beautiful… Thank you, Blessing and Happiness for you both, have a nice weekend, with my love, nia

    • January 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Thanks Nia, as cold as it was, we had a great time. That was one of our first photo excursions together! I think we met 3 weeks before. Have a great weekend!!!

  8. January 6, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Love the story, David. And great photo, maybe that’s how the other planets look like 🙂

    • January 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks Gracie, every bit of it is true. We used all different colored filters, but the photos with the red filters looked the best…’course we have no idea what other planets really look like….maybe they do look like this!

  9. Steve
    January 6, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Your writing style compliments your great photos, David! Love this shot, the alien colour for the broken ice. And the text is funny and interesting, as with all your articles. Great job!!

    • January 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks Steve, I really appreciate your comments…I just tell it like it happened. We had a good time playing that day…I think this may have been our 3rd or 4th “date.” Each filter gave a different look…obviously…but the red looks the best.

  10. January 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    A wonderful Martian-looking landscape! I’m pleased you recovered the filter!

    • January 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks Meanderer, it sure is alien looking! Getting the filter was a bit tricky…thin ice and a really really long stick!

  11. January 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    It’s the little mishaps that make great memories though 🙂

    Awesome pic!

  12. January 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks Jackie, isn’t that he truth!!! We still talk about that day!

  13. January 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    absoltely wonderful shot David! I always love visiting your blog, it’s so nice!!!
    peace
    xandi

    • January 8, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Thanks Xandi, I love to share little tidbits of life and knowledge whenever I can!

  14. January 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    The image is very alien 🙂 Looks great! Enjoyed reading your story 😀

    • January 8, 2012 at 10:19 am

      Thanks Kristina, it was a fun day and what a way to start a relationship!!!!

  15. Nandini
    January 7, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Great shot, David. And what a fun story, loved it. 🙂

    • January 8, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Thanks Nandini, we still poke fun at each other whenever we see frozen ponds! “Could you hand me that filter?”

  16. January 7, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Great use of a red filter, it really works well for this shot.

    • January 8, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Sure does! We also used green, yellow and orange and blue, but the red seemed to work the best!

  17. January 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    This is such a pleasant story. I’ve never seen ice do this. Nice image.

    • January 8, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Thanks Jennifer, I have never seen ice do that since…pretty cool though…I guess it was because of the extreme freeze and thaws we had that year!

  18. January 8, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Wonderful photo and story! I love these glimpses into the past!

  19. January 9, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Thanks Tricia, it was a pretty funny situation and we still laugh about it…
    even though we were freezing!

  20. January 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

    wonderful shot and story David…a bit of exaggeration but looks like u lost a filter and found your wife..not a bad trade was it 🙂

  21. January 11, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Thanks Abu, indeed…not a bad trade at all !!!

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