January 27, 2018

Winter, Water & Ice Field Trip #1 (Papermill Stream)

Digital original
The hanging ice on this tree was eye catching, and when combined with a long exposure to blur the water below, proved to be quite serene in appearance.
Digital original
Elsewhere along Papermill Stream I found small patches of ice, in this case formed over a bed of fallen leaves.
Digital original
My last images of the field trip were of small trees mid-stream, each wearing a skirt of ice. A long exposure (6 seconds) ensure the rushing water behind them blurred into a delicate backdrop.

January 14, 2018

Frozen in Flight #5 (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 67 image focus blend
The more I work with the frozen butterflies, the more I am doubtful of the direction I am taking. When I made my first experiments with frozen flowers, I found the results engaging and inspiring, but with the butterflies, I am enjoying the technical challenge, but find the images leave me flat.
Digital original, 56 image focus blend
I think the real issue is transparency. Where the light illuminating the flowers, and came through the petals, with the butterflies, the light is just...light...there is no sparkle or brilliance coming from the butterflies. I will have to muse more on this, but I am beginning to think the project is a non-starter.

January 13, 2018

Frozen in Flight #4 (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 56 image focus blend
The successes with the butterflies continue; the freezing issues seem to have been resolved, and I am able to focus on the real question - is there a way to make this work, in the same ways the flowers came to life in ice.
Digital original, 41 image focus blend
The interesting thing is I am not certain it will happen; many similar visual elements are appearing in the butterfly images, but they just don't have the same magical look as they had when juxtaposed to the flowers. It could be just my closeness to the process, but I am not convince the flowers and butterflies can be treated in the same way!

January 12, 2018

Frozen in Flight #3 (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 51 image focus blend
The explorations continue, but this image, focused on the main body of this butterfly, was easily the most pleasing image of the session (even through it is a little sinister looking).

January 09, 2018

Frozen in Flight #2 (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 42 image focus blend
The second exploratory session with the frozen butterflies built on the first; the freezing techniques I'd learned with the frozen flowers wasn't perfect for working with the butterflies, so I tried a different approach this time - placing the subjects in water, and the placing a sheet of thin ice over them, which ensured the butterflies didn't rise to the surface. This worked well, until I came across this example, with a large air pocket formed below the ice...not bad, but unexpected.
Digital original, 30 image focus blend
After photographing the whole block, I spent some time working on details, fascinated by the detail on the wings, and the small air bubbled formed in the ice around them.

January 08, 2018

Frozen in Flight #1 (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 25 image focus blend
During the winter of 2008, I began experimenting with photographing frozen flowers, something that would eventually be shaped into my 2010 exhibition Frozen Light. I have often pondered returning to that work, but every time I look at my 2m high print of a red tulip frozen in ice, I remember why I stopped...I felt I had realized the potential of the direction. But the idea of photographing frozen subjects has been in the back of my mind ever since.
Digital original, 20 image focus blend
When considering subjects to freeze in ice, one thing that shared many of the characteristics of flowers (colourful, small, fragile) was butterflies - and after some kindness of a friend, I finally managed to have some butterflies to experiment with - and thus these images - my first experiments with freezing butterflies. I had some technical challenges, and feel there is much that could be improved, but it is a start, and over the coming months (and perhaps years) I shall pursue this, to see where it goes!

January 01, 2018

Annual New Year's Day Trip (Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 3 frame exposure blend, 3 frame stitch
My favorite image from this New Year's day visit to Peggy's Cove, this relies upon almost all the skills I bring to photography - bending both different compositions but also different shutter speeds to yield the final image. It is quite different from the majority of my work, but a great example of why I will never regret leaving film for digital - on film not only would I never have made an image like this, it would have been impossible to make in the first place!
Digital original
I could spend all day walking around looking at the interaction between rocks and water - and in winter, which many of these spots turn to ice, it is even more wonderful when I find a particularly magical setting.
Digital original
My last image is not about winter exactly, but an evening sky - an hour before sunset, the distant horizon was alive with light.