Crystalline Gifts of Winter

IMG_6642On New Year’s day, because snow was forecast, I went out for an hour and shot 122 pictures of ice on our stream from the waterfall to about two hundred feet downstream. A bit extreme do you think? (Probably not, if you are a photographer.) Once the snow fell, the opportunity would be past. Wrapped in down, I endure frozen fingers and feet because ice captures my imagination and it is ephemeral. It changes constantly, growing or shrinking with the fluctuation in temperature. A warm rainy weekend before Christmas cleared the stream of previous ice, so with the drop in temperatures a few days prior to New Year’s, new formations were growing steadily. Suddenly frigid temperatures produce ice quickly, clear as glass, with edges fluted like crystal and these I love the most. All sorts of exquisite patterns form in and under clear glazing. There are chandeliers, mounds, tiers, feathers, scalloped edges, sharp daggers, fingers, bubbles suspended in time, geometric patterns and swirling waves in frosted white. It is a challenge to capture what I see because the eye makes adjustments better than a camera, so I shoot many times until I am satisfied. Even then, I can feel frustrated because truly nothing can replace the real thing. But I am driven to create the best image that I can of these crystalline and fleeting gifts of winter.

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About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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19 Responses to Crystalline Gifts of Winter

  1. iosatel says:

    Really great set, beautiful works!

  2. Treah says:

    These are fabulous pictures. You should enter them (or one) in National Geographic’s monthly contest.

  3. Robbie says:

    love the movement in those pictures….boy can I relate to taking MANY photos to get just the right true…nice ice photo study!:-)

  4. Robbie says:

    my favorite is number 5 with contrast, color, swirling ice + water, rocks, formation, and movement—really nice!

  5. These are just amazing!! You can feel the movement and changes. I like your point that your eyes adjust more than the camera- a great way to summarize the challenge of photography.

  6. Spy Garden says:

    Another great set of images. Beautiful!

  7. mk says:

    I like the study in brown & white – the one with leaves and frozen swirls. Awesome.

  8. These are beautiful, Eliza. I especially like the one with the leaves. It is what I think of as a natural abstract.

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