Natures tiny sculpture – Icicles


Water and Cold plus wind

Its always amazing to see the transformation that literally happens over night when a snow storm arrives late in the afternoon. That was the case the day I took the picture above. The forecast predicted the snow to start falling sometime around noon. Mother nature had different plans and decided to start around rush hour – I guess she wanted me to sit in traffic and enjoy the snowfall! When I arrived home, the icicles were tiny frozen droplets  building drop by drop.

Icicles are formed in sub zero temperatures when tiny drops of water fall and are cooled by the freezing air. Living in a northern climate, that is an easy task to accomplish. The problem I have with ice forming is when tit forms on the roads. This particular spot seems to be icicles favorite spot to form. It forms in this same spot right over the entrance of the deck. It is impossible not to walk under it when entering the house. Its a bit scary because large 10 plus inch icicles form. Icicles have been know to drop at the slightest vibration. So far we have not had any accidents.

The Camera

I was hoping to get a picture of this icicle when the sun was somewhat shining. However, the sun wasn’t going to make an appearance anytime soon.  I created the photo above with a gray overcast background and the top of a tree to give some type of element to the photo. I used the lenses widest aperture with a low ISO and fast shutter speed due to the brightness of the sky. The wide aperture was to blur the background so the main focus would be the icicle. The icicle in the front really caught my interest because its transparency and the stream of water that was formed on the inside.

Center focus was selected because of the size and isolation of the subject. In processing, I decided to turn the picture in to black & white. There was no need to keep the photo in color because it lacked color in the first place and the b&w brings out the details and mood of the scene. I also used Auto focus which was semi easy. I found that the camera took about 3 seconds to focus on the icicle. It appeared to be the same color as the sky when viewing through the camera.

On a final note

It is extremely easy to overlook the tiny details that form when the weather is extreme. The first thing that comes to my mind during extreme coldness is finding a warm place to thaw. Having a photographers mind, I find that the snowfall adds a unique sense of character to the objects I see everyday. The icicles that formed on the edge homes, the blankets of snow left on front lawns and bare branches prove to be something out of a sci-fi movie at times. That is the time when I narrow in on the little details and look for an opportunity to capture it in a photo.


Spark creativity by capturing the world around you one photo at a time


Happy New Year!


#nature #water #photography

18-140 at 116mm f/5.6 1/125sec ISO 200

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