There is something trapped in that frozen water. And fortunately it wasn't me. Though when my leg fell through the ice to my knee, it almost happened! The odd weather this year with sub zero temperatures one day and 56 degrees two days later, made interesting conditions for sure. So seeing an iceberg stockpile in the river peaked my interest and despite a cold leg and some impaled brambles, it proved to be a great photo opportunity.
I had my new Tamron 90mm f2.8 VC Macro, which gave me the opportunity to get in really close and explore the worlds entrenched within the ice. The first image is an overall picture of the ice chunks, water and debris. Because of how it froze, it's a little hard to tell what is moving water and what is frozen. As you can see there was a myriad of textures to explore. I was only limited by my ability to physically get over to them and my tolerance for handling the cold.
As I slowly got closer to the ice I began to notice all the different worlds trapped inside based on the air and conditions the water cooled. In some of these images there are seemingly figures and in some cases even look like fossils or scientific studies. Because some of the ice was clear and some cloudy, depending on what plane the focus was on, the resulting images were different.
Speaking of focus, I had the lens set to manual focus for all of these images. The lens of course is auto-focus and even has an Ultrasonic motor for quick and quiet focus, but most of the time, especially for macro shooting, I find manual much better. The reason is quite simple, because there are several planes of focus which could be the "right one", manual gives you more control. Also, for the real close stuff I find it is better to physically move back and forth slightly and watch how the image changes, clicking when I see something that interests me.
Now in general, most macro photography is achieved best with a tripod, however in this case, due to the precarious situation of thin and uneven ice (and the fact that I didn't have one) all of these images were hand held. Fortunately, the new 90 has VC (Vibration Compensation: Tamron's image stabilization) which helps you hand hold images. All of these images were taken between 1/125 and 1/250 of a second at f8-f3.5. With macro it can also help you shoot at smaller apertures to get the depth of field you desire at slower shutter speeds. This is not a substitute for a tripod for all macro photography, but it can be helpful in certain conditions. And if you are using a tripod, make sure you turn the VC off.
One of the most incredible parts of this experience, is that no little frozen world is identical and of course they are all so temporary. You have the opportunity to capture some of natures happenstance in a way that will only occur different the next time even if the process is the same!