Monday, January 2, 2012

Frozen Still-life.





I shot this one on Nikon D3 with 105mm f2.8 macro lens, and post processing on Nik software.  Camera setting it was on A mode at f/16.

1. First, you 'll need to find a suitable subject.  Leaves are the most obvious subject to freeze, being something that you might find natural frozen in a puddle, or the edge of a lake at this time of year.  A maple leaf caught my eye, thanks to its colors and interesting shape.  However, you may well have other ideas, and just about anything will work, from a feather to a pine cone.

2. Pour some water into your dish and place it the freezer-ensuring it is lying flat so that it freezes evenly.

3. Once the water has frozen, you can begin snapping.  You could shoot it indoors, using a lightbox to backlight it, but it opted to take it outside, so I could use the softness and warmth of the natural light.  Using a tripod, I positioned my camera overhead, composed my shot and released the shutter.  However, the brightly-lit ice fooled my metering system into underexposure.

4. To solve the problem, I knew I needed to apply a degree of exposure compensation.  As with most DSLR's, my camera has a dedicated exposure compensation facility.  Using this, I selected a compensation of +1stop.  I took another photo and, having studied the result (and corresponding histogram) on my camera's LCD, I knew that the exposure was now correct.

The final image:  Ice thaws quickly under direct sunlight, so work quickly.  With the exposure now correct, try different compositions.  I tried horizontal and vertical formats, and went in close to isolate specific detail as well as including the leaf in its entirely.  

5 comments:

  1. When looking at the first two pics I thought you had lost it! But....Q being the magician with a camera as he is, once again produced a remarkable photo right before my eyes.

    Thanks Q, I can see the finished image on greeting cards or thank you cards.

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  2. a really neat effort and result!

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  3. As Parker said, thank you for posting this!

    The results of this technique would never lead one to believe that this all took place in a frozen glass pan!

    I can't help but wonder what results one would get by backlighting the glass pan.

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  4. Interesting process. Thanks for sharing. =)

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  5. You're always coming up with these very different ideas. I guess I need to get out more, I would have been walking around in the cold next to a lake looking for a leaf frozen in the water. LOL

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