Monday, December 21, 2015


OK, so this is a little weird.

The other morning while on a walk, I passed a drainage ditch in front of a little strip mall near my home.  Our recent weather had featured substantial rain along with unseasonably warm temperatures. However, for the prior few days it had been colder and the temperature had been fluctuating above and below freezing.  As a result (I think), the water in the drainage ditch had experienced a series of freezes and thaws that had created some unusual patterns in the ice.  After my walk I hurried back to the ditch with my camera and tripod to grab some images.  The ground around the ditch sloped down toward the water, and at times I found myself balanced a bit precariously above the ice/water in the ditch trying to position my tripod and camera to get decent closeups of the ice without camera blur.  Following is what I kept.

In post processing I found myself converting all of the shots to black and whites on the theory that any color (resulting from vegetation and whatever else was beneath the ice) would simply be a distraction.  Later I thought perhaps I would incorporate that color and kept color copies as well, in some cases increasing slightly the color saturation.  I also increased the overall contrast in the shots and softened the texture somewhat.  I will say too that I moved the white balance on the color shots a bit toward the blue end of the spectrum, perhaps as a reminder that this was ice.  I also found myself cropping some of the shots to eliminate larger debris on the ice or to emphasize what I felt were the more interesting abstractions that the ice had created.

Here are the shots, both color and black and white versions.

Admittedly, some of these seem to work better in black and white, others in color.  

All the time I was struggling to get some interesting shots and to keep my balance, I kept thinking about the people in the strip mall who were wondering who that guy was and what he could find interesting to photograph in a frozen drainage ditch.


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