Tag Archives: cold

“Chilling”

“Chilling”

“The most amazing thing about the winter is that even a frozen world may be perceived as a heaven!” 
― Mehmet Murat Ildan

Here we are in March and the temperatures are finally starting to moderate. What better time than today to post this self-portrait I made back in late January.

It seems to me to have been a particularly harsh and too oft ice-cold winter in Southern Ontario this year. That weather has not deterred me from getting out there and making images, as evidenced from the included photo, which reminds me of those vintage images of the Antarctic explorers, so I ‘grunged’ it up a bit for effect.

I recall that day well, having spent a few hours out in the ridiculously cold weather. A day where my long lens seized up because it was so cold out. On my return to the truck, I stopped for a moment to snap this self-portrait to remind me just how cold I felt.

Yet, despite the deep and intense cold that day, I was able to capture a few images that would otherwise have gone unrealized. Like the accompanying quote states so well, there is still stunning beauty to be witnessed, even on the coldest winter days, yet only those of us brave, or stupid enough to go out in it bear witness.

iPhone 7 front camera @ 2.87mm
1/20 sec; f/2.2; ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
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“Winter Wandering”

“Winter Wandering”

“I love the scent of winter. I love the scent of winter enough to suffer the cold for it.” 
― Tiffany Reisz

It’s been a while since I posted, it’s also been a while since I’ve had anything to share. The cold snap finally eased up to the point where a reasonable person could venture out for a while. It’s felt odd, being cooped up and not making photos. So, I finally got back out for a 5 km hike this past Sunday and managed to capture a few images along the way.

What still makes me smile is the splashes of orange from the tenacious beech leaves, which, thus far, have managed to cling to the bare branches and bring a touch of colour to the otherwise stark landscape. They really are the only colour, other than muted tones of various mosses and fungi. Even the sky still hangs heavy and leaden, despite the milder temperatures. By milder I mean slightly below freezing but far more comfortable than the sub -20s we’ve had most of January.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Warm Light in a Winter World”

“Warm Light in a Winter World”

“You think winter will never end, and then, when you don’t expect it, when you have almost forgotten it, warmth comes and a different light.” 
― Wendell Berry

Warm, merely describes the spectrum of the light, certainly not its effect on the surroundings.

Once more, this winter, I find myself drawn to the trails, despite the bone chilling -20C temperatures. Despite a few days above freezing, winter was swooped back and locked the world in its icy grip once more.

As I stood making this image, the trees around me were literally cracking as they rapidly cooled. I don’t have video capability here, but if you are interested in this experience, go to my https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Felehming%2Fvideos%2F10156194337614391%2F&show_text=0&width=267“>Facebook feed for a listen, it’s quite surreal.

Back to the photo, it was surprising to me that they late afternoon sun would have such a warm quality, as it reflected off the trees. If I had not experienced the actual temperatures, I would be mislead to believe it was actually warmer.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Winter’s Litter”

“Winter’s Litter”

“For so long I have lived on the edge of an invisible world. Sometimes I feel like the scattered debris left over after the personality has fallen out of the sky.” 
― Steve Rasnic Tem

This is my final 2017 photo, made during a VERY cold hike on the second last day of December. Temperatures were around -25C and the air was calm and crisp. Crisp is an understatement, it was brutally cold, especially when I stopped hiking to make a photo.

Something that really caught my attention was large patches of fallen oak leaves, lying on the firmly packed snow; winter’s litter. It’s one of those odd things that I have not witnessed in the past many years on the trails. I suppose some leave had simply hung on after our extended autumn and the extreme cold combined with some moderate wind has now knocked them down. As I stood here and looked up, there was no evidence of any leaves remaining. Winter is firmly entrenched now.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“A Frozen Tangle”

“A Frozen Tangle”

“Winters are a desolate time where all senses are wiped away, and here in Canada, this is especially true. All smells are sucked clean from the air, leaving only a harsh, icy crispness. Colours are stripped away, leaving a stark white landscape, a sky which stays black at night and gray in the day, a world of only three shades.”
― Rebecca McNutt

This is an image from yesterday’s hike in a nearby forest. Like the quote says, winter is reduced to three shades, with a hint of faded colour. This tangle of trees seems to say “Do Not Enter” as they fade into the distant, chilly darkness. Even the purity of the snow speaks unfriendly notes of warning as the forest is locked in a robe of ice.

It’s hard to imagine that mere months ago, I was swatting mosquitoes in this same spot as I photographed orchids along the trail. Though, I have to admit, I do like the change of seasons, as each reveals new aspects of the scenes before me.

I was going to say that yesterday’s hike, at minus seventeen degrees celsius was cold, which it was, but today dawned at a crisp minus twenty-seven, making me reconsider a hike today. It may be a sit back and read day.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm

1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“December Freeze Up”

“December Freeze Up”

“December’s wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer’s memory…” 
― John Geddes

Seriously, I could stop my post here with this all too appropriate quote. As I stood, gazing across the cloudy pond surface, northwest winds whipping past my face, summer was truly a distant memory. Yet, the beauty remains (and the bugs are gone).

I put just a slight movement into this image, just enough to add a misty feel, highlighting the brightness of the distant birch trees, which dominate the far shore.

As I stood on that shore, I wondered how many people just stroll past, walking their dogs or simply in their own worlds, and miss this lovely scene? I’ve made images from the same point and had local friends ask me where the picture was taken.

In this instance, the light and clouds play an integral part in the overall composition, combining with the yellowed grasses and rushes to create a feel of a cold autumn day. ducks and geese have long since migrated to warmer climes, leaving the water’s surface undisturbed and rife for a good freezing. SO, since we have had evenings well below freezing, the approaching winter is letting us know it not too far off, relegating summer and balmy days to fond memory.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@78mm

1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Winter’s Last Bite?”

“Winter’s Last Bite?”

“The heart can get really cold if all you’ve known is winter.”
― Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Ah!, spring in southern Ontario is, to say the least, ‘unpredictable’. This past Tuesday you could go out and enjoy the sun in a sweatshirt, the next day, a parka was needed as temperatures varied widely.

So, I reflect on this image from last weekend, made on the still frozen shores of Lake Ontario, near Whitby.

The unusual ice formations remind me of teeth and the ‘bite’ of winter. it is nice to see a few teeth missing and others dissolving as temperatures gradually rise. I’m seriously looking forward to spring and the return of warmth after a long, dark winter. In fact, we had a record set in January, with only a few days of sunlight.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/640 sec;   f/1.8;   ISO 20

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Frozen Fingers”

“Frozen Fingers”

“We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from another’s vantage point, as if new, it may still take the breath away.”
― Alan Moore

Winter wears on, some days are bright and clear and others dark and dreary. Yet, through it all, nature lives on and builds crystal sculptures on frames of wood, grass, and stone. At the right time of day, the sun shines through, lighting them from within.

The image above is a lilac tree next to my house. With the rapid melt, the eavestroughs overflowed, splashing water on the cold lilacs in the shade. That slight difference in temperature was enough to re-freeze the water, encasing the slender branches and seed heads with a thick coat of ice. Water running over this base formed ripples which froze as subsequent layers. The effects of a slight breeze are also visible in the slightly bent ‘fingers’ of ice.

As a side note, though it was warm enough to melt the ice, the temperatures were cool enough to give me frozen fingers of my own.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 120mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Cold Rush” -Duffins Creek at Whitevale

“Cold Rush” - Duffins Creek at Whitevale

Moving water and the light playing of the waves. A few years ago, I started experimenting with different shutter speeds, trying to capture the movement well, without loosing details. The shutter speed needs to match the speed of the water or the image is too soft. Doing so in the winter is a particular challenge, since long exposures can blow out all the whites. That said, I like the soft winter light.

The photo above was made at Duffins Creek, in north Pickering, Ontario. Most of the river was frozen but there were a few open patches. This is a fairly tightly cropped view of one of those places.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 130 mm
1/8 sec, f/32.0, ISO 250

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“Frozen Falls in Altona” – Altona, Ontario

Icicles in Frozen Fall near Altona Ontario

Many years ago, just north of Pickering, Ontario, was a flourishing hamlet called Altona. There was a school, a couple of churches, a hotel and many beautiful farms, as well as a mill. In the 70’s the lands were expropriated by the Canadian government to build an airport. Well, the airport seems to have become a distant memory and the lands sat, essentially abandoned. The mill, and several other historical buildings, along Altona Road, were demolished a few years ago, as they sat decaying and neglected. The mill pont silted over to become a weedy meadow, indistinguishable for the surrounding fields. However, Duffins creek, the source of the former pond, continues to flow through and beneath the remnants of the pond and eventually, spills out over a small waterfall at the the end of the man-made pond. It’s quite interesting to find a waterfall in the middle of nowhere.

These ‘small falls’ have offered me  many photo opportunities over the years. I happened to visit them in the winter a few years back and they had frozen almost solid, over a few particularly cold days. The resulting ice sculptures were beautiful and the cool winter light made for some interesting effects and colours.

Above is a view of a small section of the falls which had frozen into a multi-layered formation of icicles. The day I made the photo was particularly cold and the photo captures this feeling quite well.

It’s sad that all that is left of Altona is a few shells of buildings and hints of things that once were, but there is still some beauty left in this mostly abandoned space and I can see why early settlers were drawn to the area.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 185 mm
1/60 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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