Made-Up Bits

a personal blog, by Sven Seebeck -

The First Frost

“The first frost always feels the worse” were the words our local postman said to me in the elevator the other day. Actually he’s right. It had been very cold during the last weeks and finally the sea started to freeze over. The lack of fresh snow promised some nice and beautiful structures in the ice and I wanted to take advantage of the nice condition and capture some hopefully interesting views.

My first outing last week failed though. I did find some nice structures, but the light just wasn’t right. Naturally it changed during the day and was perfect in the afternoon for sunset, but of course, these conditions I was witnessing through the window at work. On the weekend though I should have another chance.

It had been a clear night and a clear, maybe too clear day, and usually that not only means beautiful warm and soft light, but also very hard conditions. Fearing it could be one of my last chances to capture some ice structures I warmed up the car and drove to a familiar location hoping to find some good foreground interest there. Luckily I was right.

Of course it turned out, that specifically this particular one spot which caught my eye, also appeared to be one of the very few spots in which the sea wasn’t entirely frozen. I’m crouched by the tripod and composing my image and at the same time sinking into the soft ice. My shoes are supposed to be waterproof, luckily they are. At the same time I hear the sound of cracking ice, a sound too familiar, but honestly not very comforting. The sea isn’t deep here and the worst possible thing that could happen are most likely wet feet, which happened to me two years ago. Not dangerous, but no fun either in these sub-freezing temperatures and it’s nothing that I would recommend to anyone. Please stay safe and don’t be as stupid as I am and learn from your mistakes.

To work the camera I had to get off my gloves and after a minutes it already starts to hurt adjusting the tripod head. Why didn’t I put on my gloves again one might think? Well they fell into the half-frozen ice/water and opposed to the water, froze almost immediately after I threw the wet gloves to the beach.

I have been photographing in these and worse temperatures before and never had any issues with my gear, knock on wood, but it seems that remote shutter releases don’t like these temperatures too much. The cable is getting stiff quickly and like last winter already, tends to break ever so slightly.

On this outing I took exactly four images and three of them turned out to be great. That’s what I would call a good rate. If it just always would be like that.

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