Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ice Patterns

In his last few posts on Point and Shoot Landscape, Steve Ingraham has been writing about the importance of patterns in photography. Patterns, of course, are vital to creating interesting images. It is not necessarily a matter of abstract patterns as thinking about how the various elements in an image relate to one another. Shapes and lines can be arranged in ways that enhance or distract from an image's subejct. What works well is something one learns from a lot of trial and error.

During winter, one easy place to find interesting abstract patterns is ice. While the weekend's thaw removed all but a few piles of snow, a subsequent cold snap refroze many of the puddles. The thin crusts of ice now coating these puddles show a wide variety of shapes. The photo at the top is my favorite of this batch since the pattern is so intricate. It looks at once delicate and solid, like a landform at the edge of an ocean.

I am not sure what causes such a wide diversity. All of these photos were taken within a radius of ten feet or so, and yet there are so many patterns. Where the crystals at the top looked delicate and solid, the ones in the second photo look more liquid and blob-like.

In yet another pattern, this part of the ice shows strong, solid straight lines. The photo below also shows straight lines but in a more delicate pattern. The ice in the center of this image was very thin.

It is important to look up to see birds, but some interesting sights are at your feet, too.