IN THE FIELD: The Heat Is On


We are in the midst of a heat wave where I live. For most of the week it’s been extremely humid with temperatures in the high 80’s to low 90‘s, with no relief coming anytime soon. When it is hot like this, I just want to stay inside and stick my face in a bowl of ice cubes.

Ice cubes? Hey….not a bad idea…and I might as well have some fun with the camera while I’m cooling off.

I started by putting a bunch of ice cubes in a glass bowl and placed it on the table. I mounted the camera on the tripod due to the low light levels indoors and the resulting slow shutter speeds. I took a few shots…the ice looked like ice…cool and refreshing, but it wasn’t very exciting.

Then I wondered what kind of effect I could create by illuminating the ice with some kind of light source. I used the flash, but the result wasn’t very dramatic. I even photographed the ice with various colors of acetate held in front of the flash. The ice took on some color, but it was too subtle for what I was trying to achieve.

I needed something more reflective to scatter the light among the ice cubes. So I turned up the volume on my thinking cap and remembered I had some battery-operated glow sticks. I dumped the ice cubes into a stainless mixing bowl, turned on the glow sticks and shoved them into the melting ice. The glow sticks were just the ticket.

This photo was not manipulated in any way. It is straight out of the can.



ISO 400

cloudy WB

  1. July 8, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Of course you realize that now that corny song is stuck in my head but “cool” effect here 😉

    • July 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      It’s “cold as ice”, when you step into an “early morning cold taxi”, and break into a “cold sweat”, “baby it’s cold outside”, especially when there’s “cold rain and snow.”
      That didn’t even occur to me until I read your comment Hee Hee.

  2. July 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

    so beautiful dear David, Thank you, have a nice day and week, love, nia

    • July 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Glad you enjoyed this one Nia, it was a lot of fun. Have a great week!

  3. July 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    N’ice’ 🙂

  4. July 9, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Wow, that’s amazing! It looks like a textured painting. I love it! A photo that you can drink afterwards has got to be good! The heat has spread across the Atlantic and we’ve got it here now, too – it looks set to continue for a week at least.

    • July 9, 2013 at 10:34 am

      It was fun to do on an extremely hot day. And I did use some of the ice in a glass of lemonade when I was finished! If you try this…hold your ears as you dump the ice cubes into a stainless bowl. It’s pretty loud LOL!

  5. July 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Very cool, David (no pun intended)! Great color combination too.

    • July 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks Gracie, this was probably the most “refreshing” shoot I’ve done LOL. I purchased the light sticks at the big box store whose name begins with an “L”. I think they were six bucks each and come with the battery installed. One end has a white flashlight, the stick part glows whatever color the stick is, and you can make it blink with another push of the button.

  6. July 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    This is stunning! At first I thought it was a dish of jelly in colours the like of which I had never seen before – and then I read your text. Neat idea -now to find some glow sticks…….not sure if we have them here….. 🙂

    • July 10, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Thanks MB, it was a lot of fun playing. When I first started the ice cubes were frosty so the colors were more subdued. I then trickled some water over the cubes and they smoothed out and the colored light became much more intense. You probably could find the light sticks in a hardware store. The ones I used are made by Energizer…the battery folks.

    • July 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      Our Dollar Tree store (where everything is $1.00) has multiple kinds of the type you see people wearing at fairs, etc. Not battery operated but cheap, and they come in many colors.

      • July 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm

        Your $ store sounds way better than ours. Ours never has any good stuff.

  7. July 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Love what you can do with glow sticks. Good idea to pour water over the ice , making it more translucent.And it is cooling as I now look at it.

    • July 13, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Maybe I’ll post a photo or two of the frosted ice. Those are pretty cool shots too and actually look more like ice LOL. Glow sticks are fun…I can’t wait till the temps cool off at night…I’ve got some neat ideas….

  8. July 14, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Very creative! It turned out to be a very cool shot!

    • July 14, 2013 at 10:46 am

      It was fun to play around indoors on a hot afternoon. I wonder what I could come up with today…..hmmm

  9. July 14, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I loved this photo David! 🙂

    • July 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks Nandini, I love playing with light and reflections…let’s see…what should I do next.? Hmmmmmm

  10. July 15, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Absolutely FANTASTIC, David. It’s like an abstract painting. I LOVE the colors and textures.

    • July 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      Thanks John, with this heat it’s time to play indoors! Time to get creative!

  11. August 3, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Like Like Like 🙂 Hope it cooled down a little bit 🙂 it’s hot here in London 🙂 we are having our first proper summer in 7 years! 🙂

    • August 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      It sure has cooled down…great sleeping weather at night and the daytime has been perfect. Light breezes and temps in the high 70’s to low 80″s…just as summer should be!

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