The magic in a frosty morning

Here in the UK it’s winter. Often our winter weather is just cold and damp, but sometimes we get proper wintry weather with frost and snow.  After a frosty night, and with a clear sky, the sun acting on the frost can give wonderful effects.  Sometimes things happen over a very short period of time, especially as the frost is melting.

Although I now use the Olympus OM-D system, I still have a Sigma EX Nikon-fit macro lens. Fitted to an adapter it’s a great combination for frosty mornings.  These ice crystals on top of the garden fence were only about 5-6 mm high.  The lens hood was hitting the fence as I tried to focus – manual focus of course.  It’s quite extraordinary how thin the lower sections of some of the crystals are. Why don’t they break?

My wife has a new company car which has black metallic paint.  The sun was shining on just a small section of the frost on the boot, and there were lots of little water droplets catching the light.  I defocused the lens and took several images of the wonderful bokeh circles.  The one caught my eye when I was editing them.  The circles look like people in a crowd,.  Some look as if they are paying rapt attention and others are turned away.  The purple fringing adds just a bit of colour to an image that would otherwise be black and white.

This final image is another in a series that I have taken of our weeping silver birch tree.  The frost on it melts into myriad water droplets that catch the sun.  Here I have focused on some early-stage catkins and tried to render the water droplets in the background as bokeh circles.  Well that was the theory!  The lens was on f4 rather than its maximum aperture of f2.8, so the bokeh circles have started to show the shape of the lens aperture blades.  They are not quite circles.  It’s a good lesson in how important it is to keep the lens wide open, unless you want jaggy bokeh of course.

Frosty mornings?  Bring them on!

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