The Ice Man Leaveth

This afternoon we went for a three miles walk.  The sun was shining, temperatures in the mid-40s, I put on a long-sleeved shirt over my short-sleeved T-Shirt, grabbed some gloves (just in case) and headed out.

I should have grabbed my camera.  Along the side of each road we walked sat amazing snow architecture.  The plows had pushed over chunks of snow onto ditches and sidewalks.  They were now melting, and providing reflections, delicate structures, and screaming for attention as if they knew their time was short.

Jewels along the road
Jewels along the road

Mind you, this was not pure-as-the-driven snow stuff.  These chunks had been plowed.  Plus, you know, cars kick up muddy water, rocks, etc. . . . but it was all beautiful just the same.

When we got home I donned my shooting gear, and headed out.  An arduous trek to the end of my drive, and half a minute later I was shooting the snow along the road in front of my house.  I don’t know if the neighbors were looking at the guy working his equipment . . . er . . . let me rephrase that; I don’t know if the neighbors thought I was crazy for squatting by the side of the road snapping away at melting chunks of snow and ice.

This next picture shows the area I photograph; all these pictures came from roughly a ten foot area.  Imagine miles and miles of this . . .

The battle zone; me against a difficult subject to shoot
The battle zone; me against a difficult subject to shoot

Notice the discrepancy between the first picture and the second one.  The second one is fairly close to what the snow looked like . . . except that is not true.  Our eyes discern much more than the camera sensor does.  Plus our mind plays tricks with us; it likes to fool us.  The picture above looks more like this in our mind’s eyes.

Much better . . .
Much better . . .

But then we can still play games . . . if our minds are going to screw with us, I say screw right back.

Take that!!  Who's fooling who now, eh?!?
Take that!! Who’s fooling who now, eh?!?

That’s nothing . . . look at this:

Yup . . . now I remember!  This is how it looked!
Yup . . . now I remember! This is how it looked!

OK . . . so I played with the brightness, exposure, white balance, contrast, saturation, fill light, and a bunch of other stuff.

Before you judge me harshly, remember I am trying to make art here . . . But, for each macro I shoot I’ll show you where it came from.  Without further delay . . .

At first it's ugly . . .
At first it’s ugly . . .
But look closely, and there is beauty too . . .
But look closely, and there is beauty too . . .
and shapes . . . do you see the bat face? . . . or is it a lamb?  The moose?  So many shapes to capture the imagination.
and shapes . . . do you see the bat face? . . . or is it a lamb? The moose? So many shapes to capture the imagination.

Here is another series . . . first the regular shot:

A nondescript chunk of dirty snow . . .
A nondescript chunk of dirty snow . . .
Colored by imagination . . .
Colored by imagination . . .
Looked at a little closer . . .
Looked at a little closer . . .
Looked at a little closer . . .
. . . and closer yet.  The color is the reflection of the front of my house.

By the way . . . sounding like a broken record, but these are amazing in SmugMug.

Here’s something the hundreds of people that went by this never noticed . . .

How is that even standing?
How is that even standing?
There is so much beauty here.
There is so much beauty here.
Even without the color . . .
Even without the color . . .
Even up close.
Even up close.

I’m running late, and need to post this before midnight to keep the silly one post a day thing going . . . here are a few more samples, but there is much more in SmugMug.

A fleeting jewel broach
A fleeting jewel broach
Ice Castles
Ice Castles
Fearsome Beasts
Fearsome Beasts

All those and more at the SmugMug Gallery.  They are not annotated as I post this, but they will be.  Not that anyone needs to do any more than to look at these beauties.

Remember the second shot?  All the other ones are in that little patch of snow.

Thanks for reading.

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