As we enter into the first phase of winter here in the northern regions of the US, we find less and less to shoot outdoors. The colors have all disappeared and the plant life has wilted and faded away until next spring. Once the first week of December arrives, I look forward to heading to the local creeks and shooting ice abstract. These images that you see are produced in the very first stages of freeze at the edges of the creeks. In this newly formed ice you will find interesting patterns and unique natural designs. With each winter day the cold adds new layers of ice causing the ice to turn white and erasing these creative designs, so being out there at the first ice is your best chance to shoot these cool abstracts.
A long focal length macro lens works best as you will be shooting from the bank of the creek and need that longer range to reach the subjects and fill the frame. I used the Tamron 180mm macro lens.
You will be shooting at low angles and to increase my depth of field to bring the whole design into sharp focus I use the higher f/stop numbers in the f/22 to f/32 ranges. Tamron 180mm
Look for designs that have a lot of interesting swirling lines. Tamron 180mm
Sometimes you will come across ice with cool colors. The colors may reflect from the blue in the sky or from brown leaves under the ice, or yellows from low angle early morning sunlight. Tamron 180mm
As you can see there are some very interesting artwork created by mother nature, so dress warm and don't let the cold stop you from shooting. Tamron 180mm
Mike Moats is an award winning, full time pro nature photographer, specializing in macro. His images and articles are published in major magazines and has a book and four e-books on the subject of macro and photo business. Mike offers a three day "Macro Boot Camp" through out different parts of the country, and has created a new online "Macro Nature Forum" for macro photographers to post images and participate in discussion about macro photography in nature. You can see more of Mike's work and info about the workshops, books, and macro forum at www.tinylandscapes.com