Winter Ice

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__TS-E90mmf/2.8+2x Extender__1.5 sec at f / 19__ISO 100

On Sunday morning, I discovered these great ice patterns in my bucket of landscape pebbles.  The “bucket” is a rectangular cement mixing bucket which I bought when I was building my waterfall feature on my back patio 9 years ago.  At the time, I noticed how vivid the stones were when wet, and started an ongoing series of the wet stone details.  Last year, I sold a 5×8 foot print of one of those!  Then, in winter I’ve noticed the bucket, filled with rainwater, will freeze over on cold, clear nights.  So now I also have a collection of ice pattern images!

If you are disappointed in learning that I didn’t make this image of a natural scene, I have my misgivings too.  For various reasons however, not least of which is that I am busy “surviving” in this economy and raising two children, this is where I find the most inspiration these days – in my back yard!

This photograph was made with my 90mm TS lens plus 2x Extender, camera turned horizontally, with front tilt near max to obtain full sharp across the ice.  I created five frames using the lens’s Shift function with incremental turns from far left to far, then stitched together with PS4’s Photomerge.  Even with the five background layers flattened, the final file is over 300MB.  Not quite as big as some of my 4×5 layered master files (which can be up to 1GB), but still very high res!  One has to enlarge the image in PS, or else print it at least 24″ to fully appreciate the intricate filigree patterns in the ice.

Other Bucket images:

Stones

Stones and Reflections

Published by William Neill

William Neill, a resident of the Yosemite National Park area since 1977, is a landscape photographer concerned with conveying the deep, spiritual beauty he sees and feels in Nature. Neill's award-winning photography has been widely published in books, magazines, calendars, posters, and his limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. Neill received a BA degree in Environmental Conservation at the University of Colorado. In 1995, Neill received the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography. Neill's assignment and published credits include National Geographic, Smithsonian, Natural History, National Wildlife, Conde Nast Traveler, Gentlemen's Quarterly, Travel and Leisure, Wilderness, Sunset, Sierra and Outside magazines. Also, he writes a monthly column, On Landscape, for Outdoor Photographer magazine. Feature articles about his work have appeared in Life, Camera and Darkroom, Outdoor Photographer and Communication Arts, from whom he has also received five Awards of Excellence. His corporate clients have included Sony Japan, Bayer Corporation, Canon USA, Nike, Nikon, The Nature Company, Hewlett Packard, 3M, Freidrick Grohe, Neutrogena, Sony Music/Classical, University of Cincinnati, UBS Global Asset Management. His work was chosen to illustrate two special edition books published by The Nature Company, Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder and John Fowles's The Tree. His photographs were also published in a three book series on the art and science of natural process in collaboration with the Exploratorium Museum of San Francisco: By Nature's Design (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1993), The Color of Nature (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1996) and Traces of Time (Chronicle Books / Exploratorium, Fall 2000). A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published entitled Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness (Yosemite Association, 1994) which received The Director's Award from the National Park Service. A retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, 1997) relates his beliefs in the healing power of nature. William has taught photography since 1980 for such prestigious organizations as The Ansel Adams Gallery, the Friends of Photography, Palm Beach Photographic Workshops, The Maine Workshops and Anderson Ranch Workshops. He specializes in landscape and nature photography and is concerned with conveying the beauty seen in Nature. Currently, he teaches online courses for BetterPhoto.com and One-on-One Workshops in his home studio near Yosemite National Park.

6 replies on “Winter Ice”

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  2. Thanks Carlo and Andy,

    Andy, I don’t do anything but leave the bucket out. Need to be a clear cold night, and the water “open” to the sky. It is below often freezing here at night, but always above that during the day. I think that the crystal forms are related to quick, cold freezing of the water.

    Cheers, Bill

  3. There something to be said for shooting at home – particularly when the results are as impressive as this. I have yet to grow good looking ice, not sure what that takes – hopefully not a frostbitten thumb!

  4. I’ve commented elsewhere about how brilliant I think your “bucket ice” images are. What a simple, great idea.

    One of my successful images is of a combination of succulent plants grown in a nursery flat full of gravel. It was published some years ago in a Chicago gardening magazine. One couldn’t tell it wasn’t from some specialized garden somewhere…. AND it was beautiful.

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