As the autumn season marches towards winter and the overnight temperature barely stays above freezing, this particular photograph of frozen rain drops seems appropriate. It is amazing how a photograph helps revive my memory of this minutes before, during and after the image was snapped. Unlike memories that fade and maybe fail over time, these images are a permanent snapshot that somehow also captures not on the visual aspects, but also the my thoughts at the time.
It was a workday, so as I am drinking coffee and getting ready, I make the rounds in the backyard: checking on the koi pond, the bird feeders, and birdbaths. This particular morning was bitterly cold – at least for California standards. The result was frost on top of fence boards and frozen rain drops hanging from branches. With the sun slowly rising, the warm glow starting illuminating the ice drops. Knowing how fleeting this scene could be, there was a rush to retrieve the camera gear and make a few snaps before the I and the light ultimately move on with our day. In all, the window of opportunity for this backlighting was 7-10 minutes.
Technical Notes: I will be occasionally adding notes to the bottom of posts. Usually these notes will be discussing the gear selection for a photograph (good and bad) and how the selection aids or hinders the final photograph.
A longer zoom lens was used here specifically to achieve a shallower depth of focus that I could have with a wider angle (18-55mm) zoom lens. The thinking here is the patchy clouds in the background would be too distracting for what the final photograph would be. The problem is with these longer zoom lenses are the minimum focusing distance needed. So the result was that the capture composition was 50% larger than what you see here. This means ultimately I have “thrown away” pixels during the crop process. While the pixels may not mean much when the image is shown in a blog format, I may one day decide to print this photograph in a large format (greater than 20 x 30″ for instance). At that point I may encounter pixelization in the final printed product. Search online as there are various tables that chart out the image resolution in pixels needed for certain sized prints.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 200mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec
Cameron Park (CA), Iced Rain Drops, Sunrise Light, Japanese Maple Branches. Cameron Park, CA. December 14, 2015. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.