Saturday, 10 February 2018 22:57

In the Winter Palace

A temperature map of the 2017-2018 winter thus far might look uncannily like the profile of any major theme park's premier rollercoaster. While there have been plenty of ice-free moments to celebrate, there have also been quite a few days of thickly frozen liquid to appreciate as just another of Nature's wonderful artforms. This tiny unnamed tributary of Walker Camp Prong at the base of Anakeesta Ridge on the Tennessee side of the Smokies is one of my favorite places to find and be creative with the amazing iceforms that can be found there. During the peak of winter this watercourse gets relatively little direct sunlight, and when the thermometer hovers below freezing for several days at a time, a winter palace begins to take shape: an invitation to bundle up and go outside. A focal length of 150mm - near the boundary of short telephoto-land - gave me the intimate angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/16 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 0.6 second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure and an apparent flow of the water that expressed the motion effect I wanted to create.

Winter will soon enough give us a way to spring; but until then; its sculptured forms can offer us much to celebrate and enjoy. 

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6 comments

  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Saturday, 17 February 2018 08:40 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good morning Everyone. It's increasingly difficult to imagine where the time goes. I don't know that this is necessarily a bad thing. Just saying... it seems like a week can so easily slip by. In our neck of the woods it has seemed like anything but winter during this past week and thinking about the frozen face of this week's Image seems almost an incongruity.
    Hi Michelle. It's great to hear from you. I hope all is well in sunny Florida. Thank you for your kind words. I smile at your thought of "strong and soft." Bonnie and I were photographing very near - practically on top of - where this Image was made two days ago. Of course, the ice was completely gone, and the big rocks in the streambed seemed anything but soft, so the idea of ice as a softener seemed very interesting. What a fun idea.
    Hey Nancy T. It's always good to have you with us. I hope your transition to your new home is going smoothly. We're looking forward to hearing about it. I'm really liking the elements and principles you have offered us. All of the lines are relatively short, but they are nonetheless distinct; and they fit so well into the textures you describe. And extreme contrast here is somewhat subtle, but certainly present. What an interesting and thorough description of a relatively small space. Thank you for your perceptiveness and for sharing it.
    Hey Donald. I hope the winter in Chicago has not been as icy as this Image, and I really appreciate the depth you drawn from in suggesting the "time" contrast. It's one not often mentioned, and commonly not seen, but you have spotted it here and given it to us to consider. And what a wonderful analogy to the geology of a cave. Be well, my friend.
    Hi JWarren. It's great to have you with us! The process you so thoughtfully describe from phone-viewing to a desktop (whether desktop or laptop) is one that reminded me of the challenges inherent in looking at photography of some of our modern devices. Not a bad thing, but one to be recognized and appreciated in terms of how we see and understand various forms of photographic creativity. Thank you for reminding us that the platform can sometimes affect what we see on the screen. I love the various iterations that came to you as you changed formats and am reminded how interesting is the process of "seeing" the same thing in altered contexts. Without thinking it otherwise an overuse of superlative, you are much too kind, my friend.
    Hi Pat. Your observation is so very well made: "In spite of...nevertheless." The inexorable march of change, and the ineptitude of human machinations to alter it. We adapt and persevere. And from insight such as yours, I am instructed and grow. I look forward to catching up with you sooner than not.
    Thank you all for being part of my creative family and for the rich insights you share. Somehow I am persuaded that we all learn and grow from the thoughtful words we share, and in so doing the strands of our connection to the universe and its beauty are constantly strengthened. May we all Walk in Beauty.

  • Comment Link Pat Crutchfield Sunday, 11 February 2018 21:02 posted by Pat Crutchfield

    What a powerful image: in spite of the ice and rock, the water comes again, cutting new beginnings.

    Thanks for sharing, Don. I love your vision!

  • Comment Link jwarren... Sunday, 11 February 2018 14:41 posted by jwarren...

    My dad, an English Professor before retirement, has been know to caution against overuse of superlatives, but every week another of your photographs elicits yet another superlative. This week is Absolutely Stunning!

    At first glance on my phone's screen it seemed to be a tree, and then perhaps a Buddha temple. Rushing to my computer for a closer look, I had to wonder how the stream flowed from such a height as though out of the sky. Then came the realization of how masterfully the ice had been used to direct the viewer's gaze. All of the elements are there, but it took an artist to put them together.

    This is art par excellence! Thank you for sharing your art with us.

  • Comment Link Donald Newsom Sunday, 11 February 2018 11:58 posted by Donald Newsom

    I love the visual contrasts that Nancy described so well. Also the contrast in time between present and (recent) past: the water that is in motion now, and the water that had to have been in motion before to create the ice formations. It's the same feeling I get in a cavern filled with stalagmites, stalactites, and a stream meandering through the floor of the cave, all parts of the same story.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 11 February 2018 10:04 posted by Nancy Tripp

    Lines, contrasts, and textures OH MY! Mother nature has been hard at work here. Great contrasts from dark to bright. The textures also show contrast from the smooth moving water to the jagged icicles. So many lines can't decided if they should be vertical or horizontal so they keep switching creating the zig zag in the large C-shape in the center which is holding the whole scene together in harmony. It looks like winter is going out with a bang! Thank you for braving the cold, finding this, and sharing.

  • Comment Link michellewarkjensen Sunday, 11 February 2018 08:30 posted by michellewarkjensen

    What a beautiful image. So strong and soft all at once.

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