Macro Photography In Freezing Rain

Mike Jensen Photography In Winter

Today we woke up to freezing rain.  Unfortunately Cindy had to leave for work about 6am and Matthew left about 7:45am.  By that time the pine trees on our property were covered with freezing rain so I decided it was time to photograph them.   Now, to almost anyone else, freezing rain is a great excuse to stay inside and make a large mug of hot cocoa and sit by the fireplace.  For photographers, it’s playtime.  Today, mine was macro photography in freezing rain!

Items needed to photograph pine trees in the freezing rain:

  • Tripod
  • Camera, Canon 7D (1.6 crop factor – this allows me to get in closer)
  • 100mm Canon Macro lens
  • 1.4 Canon Telextender (doubler)
  • 12mm, 24mm, 36mm extension tubes (allows me to get in closer for less money)
  • Camera cable release
  • Expo disc for calibrating white balance (very important when photographing something green)
  • Raincoat
Click to see larger!

Click to see larger!

I walked about 100 feet down the path from the front door and saw this image.  Three pine needles encrusted in an ice-cycle.  Tothe human eye, the diameter of the ice-cycle was about 1/8th of an inch wide and perhaps 1 inch long.  It was not surrounded by any other needles which meant I would be able to blur out the neighboring area!


Click to see larger

Click to see larger

Now, I’m drawn to these pine needles with a macro set up. There’s just something about them and moisture. Here’s one I shot last Spring with the same set up. Now the first image above is a very difficult image to accomplish. It’s a composite of five shots blended together, called a stacked image. All shot at f11, 1/20th sec. The second image is an HDR (high dynamic range or high contrast) image shot at f22 (to get the starburst).

Okay, so I’m walking down the path and I’m seeing these really cool (photographer talk for REALLY COOL!) looking pine cones.  These are the ones lucky enough to still be on the branches and not stored away by some protective squirrel.  I shot the pine cone looking up as it was just a bit taller than my tripod.  I really like the designs Mother Nature made in  forming the ice.  This was shot at f32 at 1/5th of a second._CJ_2074-Edit

Now, pine cones have been very lucky for my photography career.  A few years ago, I was walking around the property and while coming back in the house I noticed a pine cone laying on the porch deck.  I set up my tripod, took one shot.  Several months later I entered in the Cascade Camera Club’s monthly image exhibition.  The theme was “Texture”.  The shot got a “ho hum” reaction from the critiquer.  About four months later I entered it in the same category in the county photo show and it took Best In Show!  Go figure!
Now, this final shot is another pine needle shot. Taken at f32. I really like the semi frozen state of water in this shot. It’s moving from ice to water and (very quickly) sliding off the pine needle.

Hope you enjoy them!