A Winter Panorama

A lot of snow came down a few days ago and covered the landscapes with a couple of centimeters of fresh and clean snow. I always liked the look of fresh snow on the trees and took many similar images in the past.

I visited this place already earlier in the morning, but it was still a tad too dark to take panoramas then. During dusk/dawn they tend to come out a tad too unsharp using the phone’s image processor, so I did the obvious and came back a little later to try again. I then took these images around midday under a cloudy/grey sky and the dog appreciated the extra-walk.

And here is another once from a bit further down the path:

I like how the height of these trees comes out in this image. They were rather huge.

The Second Frost

It had been the third day with gorgeous light in a row, something that I believe to be happening rather rarely during this time of year. Two days ago, I used the chance to visit this small beach, named Isoniemi at sunset and photographed this island in a nice warm light evening light alongside with some interesting structures on the ice. It was very cold then, and at home I got some more ideas for this location. At home! Well, that’s surely too late and I had to hope to find similar conditions the next time I have time…

The Second Frost

Next time is today, two days after my last outing here. Yesterday, the sunset was gorgeous and naturally I witnessed all it’s beauty on the way to work… Talking about getting things right the first time. While cloudy through the night, this morning though the sky looked promising and I decided to make the most of the situation and go back.

The sun rises late these days and from my experience with the conditions around here I knew that I will not need to hurry. It will take around one and a half hours before the sun will be high enough to not only light the scene but also to light the few remaining clouds in the sky with it’s now almost constant warm orange light. Constant means the roughly 4 hours the sun is actually up here in the beginning of December.

After my arrival I had to realize though that light snow has covered the structures and shapes on the ice which I hoped to capture. The light though was soft and warm turning all available colours into shades of pastel. Conditions like these make me forget the freezing temperatures I’m in. I walk on the ice looking for shapes and structures which I can put into the foreground of my image.

It doesn’t last long until I find a composition worth framing. Setting up and composing the shot is the easier part. After finishing my image I continue exploring the scene, looking for something else to photograph. The moon still high up in the sky gently appears between a layer of pastel coloured clouds. Isn’t landscape photography just wonderful?

I continue looking into some detail images but somehow they didn’t really work out and I head back home. Three good images in one morning is more than enough.

During this outing I recorded a quick videoblog which I published just recently. Feel free to have a look.

The First Frost

“The first frost always feels the worse” were the words our local postman said to me in the elevator the other day. Actually he’s right. It had been very cold during the last weeks and finally the sea started to freeze over. The lack of fresh snow promised some nice and beautiful structures in the ice and I wanted to take advantage of the nice condition and capture some hopefully interesting views.

The First Frost #1

My first outing last week failed though. I did find some nice structures, but the light just wasn’t right. Naturally it changed during the day and was perfect in the afternoon for sunset, but of course, these conditions I was witnessing through the window at work. On the weekend though I should have another chance.

It had been a clear night and a clear, maybe too clear day, and usually that not only means beautiful warm and soft light, but also very hard conditions. Fearing it could be one of my last chances to capture some ice structures I warmed up the car and drove to a familiar location hoping to find some good foreground interest there. Luckily I was right.

Of course it turned out, that specifically this particular one spot which caught my eye, also appeared to be one of the very few spots in which the sea wasn’t entirely frozen. I’m crouched by the tripod and composing my image and at the same time sinking into the soft ice. My shoes are supposed to be waterproof, luckily they are. At the same time I hear the sound of cracking ice, a sound too familiar, but honestly not very comforting. The sea isn’t deep here and the worst possible thing that could happen are most likely wet feet, which happened to me two years ago. Not dangerous, but no fun either in these sub-freezing temperatures and it’s nothing that I would recommend to anyone. Please stay safe and don’t be as stupid as I am and learn from your mistakes.

To work the camera I had to get off my gloves and after a minutes it already starts to hurt adjusting the tripod head. Why didn’t I put on my gloves again one might think? Well they fell into the half-frozen ice/water and opposed to the water, froze almost immediately after I threw the wet gloves to the beach.

I have been photographing in these and worse temperatures before and never had any issues with my gear, knock on wood, but it seems that remote shutter releases don’t like these temperatures too much. The cable is getting stiff quickly and like last winter already, tends to break ever so slightly.

On this outing I took exactly four images and three of them turned out to be great. That’s what I would call a good rate. If it just always would be like that.