Baby, it’s cold outside! For much of the United States, winter ushers in a long season of dreary days and cold weather. It makes a photographer dream of green grass, sunny skies, and warmer weather. Winter doesn’t have to mean you stop photographing the beauty of the natural world. You might just have to look a little harder to find it.
1 FROST ON A WINDOW
If you want to stay warm while photographing nature, it doesn’t get much easier than photographing frost through your own front door. Frost that naturally forms on your window is some of the most intricate artwork nature creates. Grab your 60mm macro lens attached to an OM-D E-M1 Mark II or the rugged Tough TG-5 in super macro mode and get to shooting. You won’t be disappointed in your results.
2 FROST ON A WINDOW WITH A LITTLE PIZZAZ
Start with the basic image of frost on a window, then add elements that enhance bokeh, the defocused balls of light in the background of an image. This image shown is called “Goodnight Moon.” But the yellow sphere in the image was not the moon and it wasn’t even dark outside. In fact, this image was from a single shot taken mid morning through a window in my house. How did I create this camera trickery? It was actually pretty simple. I focused my 60mm lens on the frost. The ball of light was the sun reflecting off of a car parked near the front of my house. I simply positioned the beam of light directly behind the frost, set my aperture at f2.8, and took the shot. Because of my shallow depth of field, the small light source appeared to be a large ball of light similar to the moon.
3 BLOW SOME BUBBLES
Over the years I have seen other photographers capture frost bubbles when the temps dipped near zero, but I had never tried it for myself. So, on a blistery winter morning, I grabbed a bottle of my kids’ bubbles and headed outside. After a few failed attempts that included chasing down roaming bubbles, I had a successful go at it. The technique was rather simple. First, slowly blow a bubble through a straw or through a wand. Next, steady the bubble on the wand (I chose to keep the bubble on the wand) or in the snow without popping it. The bubble will quickly begin to freeze and frost over. The hardest part was keeping the wand still while my hands froze and my teeth chattered. Because I chose to leave the bubbles on the wand, I was able to move the bubble where the sun reflected off of the edge creating the look of the sun eclipsing the world as seen from outer space.
4 USE NATURE TO SHOWCASE THE FROST
I love photographing frost that forms on plants and pine trees. For these images, I like to use my 60mm macro lens or the 40-150 f2.8 pro lens. Both lenses allow you to get close to your subject while softening the background.