Photographing Ice And Icy Conditions
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|Category:||Landscape and Travel|
Photographing Icy Edges And Details - John Gravett shares his icy photography tips.
There's nothing quite like picking your way around the edges of a lake which is just beginning to freeze and photographing great abstract pictures of ice details. Similarly, icicles at the edges of streams and in waterfalls can lift otherwise ordinary shots into a whole new dimension.
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- Macro lens
- Telephoto zoom
- Spare batteries
- Warm Clothing
- Waterproof camera bag
To see through some of the icy layers to the details below, a polarising filter can be useful to reduce reflection from the surface of the ice.
For a waterfall to freeze, it needs to get really cold, but where water falls, or tumbles over rocks, it creates turbulence and splashes up over surrounding rocks and vegetation. These areas freeze into crystal-like caps over rocks, icy stalagmites on grass, or chandelier-like structures on large waterfalls. Even where water drips off the edges of peat bog into streams, in cold spells, these can form wonderful icicles which, after water levels drop slightly, hang magically above the surface of the water.
Where there is still moving water in the photo, try a range of shutter speeds to contrast the frozen ice with the flow of the water – or even the ripples in the stream. Use of a polarising filter will take reflections off the water to show it as darker, contrasting with the whiteness of the ice, although sometimes reflections in the water are just as important as the ice itself! A telephoto zoom may help you to crop close without risking a slip and fall into very cold water.
Remember, where there is a predominance of white tones, they are likely to confuse your camera meter, so be prepared to add about a stop exposure. Conversely, highlights on ice against a dark background may blow easily, so keep a close eye on your histograms.
Ice will hang about more in shaded areas, so watch your white balance to avoid your whites turning out with a blue cast.
Article by John Gravett of Lakeland Photographic Holidays.