Tag Archives: Pond

“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

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“Out of the Blue”

“Out of the Blue”

“Blue offers up a tranquility which belies its true appearance.” 
― Anthony T. Hincks

This second post today is outside of my “Golden Paths” series, but part of the same timeframe. Exiting from the bright, golden forest, I found myself sitting on the bank of a pond, simply drinking in the sun’s warmth and enjoying the afternoon light. Next to me was this milkweed seed pod, burst open and dispensing its cargo of seeds into the breeze.

I made a few shots from different angles, which is often my practice when photographing singular subjects, since different angles also offer different and sometimes unexpected and beautiful light. In this case. the image with the water of the pond as a backdrop offered the best composition, the blue being so dark and rich, brightened by the expanding weave of the bright white seed  filaments or “floss” as it is often named. The seed pod really shines, out of the blue, highlighted in brights golds reflected from the inner walls of the pod.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100

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“Cracked Ice” – Secord Pond

“Cracked Ice” - Secord Pond

If you should go skating
On the thin ice of modern life
Dragging behind you the silent reproach
Of a million tear stained eyes
Don’t be surprised, when a crack in the ice
Appears under your feet
You slip out of your depth and out of your mind
With your fear flowing out behind you
As you claw the thin ice – Pink Floyd

This image is the second in a series of photographs I made a few weeks ago, observing the gradual melting of the ice on a local pond. The patterns and various structures interested me and I wanted to spend more time looking them over, from the comfort of my office.

Above is a small section of the pond, close to shore. The snow has melted, leaving just the ice below exposed to the sun. The surface is uneven, caused by the melting and refreezing of snow to different depths. The white ‘cracks’ are the result of the ice cracking open and snow filling the cracks, only to refreeze. As I noted in other recent posts, the snow this year was particularly pure and white, which only enhances this effect.

Over my many years of hiking the same trails, I’m still seeing new things every time and I take that as a gift.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 125 mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 250

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“Across the Ice” – Secord Pond

“Across the Ice” - Secord Pond

“One of the reasons there are so many terms for conditions of ice is that the mariners observing it were often trapped in it, and had nothing to do except look at it.”
― Alec Wilkinson

As winter transitioned into spring and the light coating of snow melted on the lakes, rivers and ponds in the area, some very interesting effects emerged, that I had not previously noticed. Perhaps it’s due to the small amount of late snow we received, which melted soon after it fell, clear and uncontaminated with dust and grime.

The effect I noticed was smooth ice surfaces, in endless shades of blue and white. The colours seem almost unnatural, but I suppose the purity of the ice and how it formed this year may have something to do with that.

In the image above, you can see deep blues where the snow must not have accumulated much versus the whiter areas, where it would appear snow has melted and refrozen. And, of course, there are the white cracks, crisscrossing the surface. I also like the mottled effect in the distance, which was harder to capture well from the angle I shot from.

The entire image has the look of a blue and white abstract painting, but it’s just nature showing off her own artistry, something I have been seeing a lot of lately and am happy for.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 125 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 250

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“Frozen Frequencies” – Secord Pond, Uxbridge

“Frozen Frequencies” - Secord Pond, Uxbridge

The title is a bit misleading, as the water is not frozen. I took the word frequencies from the delicate ripples in the water and the effect they had on the reflection. The image is actually inverted and I was debating leaving it that way. However, the composition I was envisioning is better communicated this way. You can see a little hint of the shoreline, still coated in ice and snow. The photo was best expressed in black and white with a slight Selenium toning to cool it down.

It has been a different winter here in Southern Ontario, Canada. It’s early February and there is little snow, days are moderate and most water bodies have at least some open water. Secord Pond, where this image was made, had a thin coating of ice, the remnant of a few colder weeks, but that’s changing too and a large patch of open water is now expanding.

This season has been a bit different for my photographically as well. Generally, I’d be out and about on snowshoes, making photos of snow covered pines and frosty landscapes, compensating for the bright reflection of snow and ice as I compose my images. While there is still some snow and ice, it’s patchy and the light soft and almost warm. It is becoming a learning experience, making non typical photos in a non typical winter.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 145mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3 -0.33, ISO 250

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“Pondside Maple” – Hwy 7, near Kaladar, Ontario

“Beaver Pond Maple” - Hwy 7 near Kaladar, Ontario

There is an interesting stretch of highway in eastern Ontario, where the road follows the unusual topography, consisting of many long ponds between low strips of granite. When viewed from above, it’s like a large series of wrinkles in the earth’s crust. The bare rock and water filled valleys are so different from anything else along that road that it made me pay attention to it. Among those rocks and ponds are numerous ‘solitaires’, as I have begun to call them. That is, trees that stand apart from others for any number of reasons.

This maple looks to have had a companion at one time, but that one, lying along the shore, has not faired as well. It’s amazing this tree has reached the size and age it has, given the scant soil it has grown in. There were a few of these solitaires visible from the road but this one was in a location where I could safely pull over and compose a photo as the highway snakes along the edge of the pond.

The photo nicely captures the cool mid-December feeling. It will be winter in a few days, yet there is no snow and the water remains unfrozen. It was a bit dull and the sky was filled with variable clouds, yet the diffused light still lit up the pale yellow grasses along the shore. I’m hoping that the mood is conveyed adequately without making it depressing, which it was not.

Nikon D300
Tamron  70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 250

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