Icy Bog Landscape Hunting

When winter comes around, a lot of people would rather stay inside… but for me cold weather means the chance for some great photography!

This last week in NC has been very cold, with temperatures in the teens and multiple ice events which led to travel backups.  However, this extreme cold prompted me to get out to a new place that I had heard about and found on Google maps, called Long Branch.  It is a low-lying area located in between two of Greensboro’s largest lakes, Lake Townsend and Lake Brandt.  This location has created a very beautiful wetland and an ideal habitat for many creatures.

I have photographed iced over lakes before, but this area provided some unique opportunities to use the older dead trees as the subjects in the photograph.  I enjoyed my first visit so much that I quickly returned, bringing my motorized slider to create a time-lapse.

While photographing ice, I have found that shooting from a low angle can help bring out the texture and detail of the ice.  Click the picture to enlarge.
_MG_1832The ice was quite amazing to walk across, and we could see trapped air bubbles and frozen logs while looking below.  There were many great photo opportunities for macro or abstract shots, and I will have to revisit this as a photo-shoot of it’s own.  Notice the log iced over below the surface in the picture below.
_MG_1975-2The sun eventually started to rise and I didn’t waste any time!  I moved around quickly, using compositions that I had previously scouted, but now adding the sun as a new element.

_MG_1890By using an aperture of F/18 or smaller (F/22, F/32..), and having the sun partially blocked by an object or the horizon,  a ‘sun star’ is created.  I generally like to use the sun stars to add a little burst behind my subject, which happened to be dead trees this day.

Here is another example:
_MG_1948 copyI would definitely consider this a successful shoot for my first time visiting this location.  A great time, and once again I was reminded of the beauty which photographed during icy weather.


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