Berlin, Ferbruary 21, 2021
During February 2021 we received a new lesson about the difference between „Weather“ and „Climate“. During rising average-temperatures, accompanied by very mild winters normally, we experienced something, which in fact deserved the name of „WINTER“ with snow, accompanied by temperatures outside your front-door, which you used to know from your deep-freezer!
Water is a fascinating element, which again and again creates wonderworlds for photographers: and I am going to show here some of these wonders, using my „Gartenmikroskop“ („Garden-Microscope“), as I have done with liquid water last summer – see my blog-article „Nach dem Regen“.
For this winter I had hoped, that there would be the occasion to photograph the crystallized form of water in nature (hoarfrost – German: Raureif) – but there were no appropriate conditions here for hoarfrost this year.
Instead we got an impressive occasion to observe amorphous ice.
Here is a teaser-photo:
Picture 1: I called this „The Frozen Torso“ – it is created by water from dewing snow, coming down from our roof. The sun has two important functions here: first dewing the snow and then creating the illumination for this picture…
NOTE: In my photography I only use natural ambient light. My pictures are out-of-camera with just minimal (necessary) adjustments of brightness, gradation-curve, color-dynamic and saturation to show the „real“ scene, which I have seen. My camera for this expedition is the GFX100 with the 120mm-Macro-lens.
In these days before 12.02.2021 (a nice panlindrome date!) we had -15 °C even at noon time with bright sunshine. the days before there had come down 25 cm of snow.
During a short noon-period with the sun perpendicular to the roof, melt-water was generated and was pouring out of the rainwater gutter – down the heavy steel-chain – refreezing directly on the ice-cold steel structure.
Picture 2: Melt-water running down the steel-chain fom the rainwater-gutter at -15 °C, creating a phantastic sculpture on the chain.
Picture 3: Detail – process of „building“ the ice-sculpture.
In the following picture you see the the steel-chain, carrying the ice-sculpture, before it was completely enclosed
Picture 4: The golden colour of the steel-chain is real – in summer it is sprinkled with ground-water, which contains high amounts of iron and generates this nice „plating“ at the lower end of the chain. Reflexes and deflections of this chain-surface generate the „Whisky-on-the-rocks“ colour situation on some of the following pictures (and there I may have increased dynamic and saturation, to pronounce this …)
Close to the rainwater-chain there are standing a forsythia and a rose-bush.
The splashing around „undercooled“ melt-water is creating sculptures of their own in these:
Picture 5A and 5B: The forsythia-buds, which is dreaming in the ice here, are about to break open within three days from today (14 days after I took this picture), due to a dramatic temperature-rise of 30 K following the deep cold.
Picture 6: Rosehips „on the rocks“. The blue is from cold, clean-white snow in shadow-areas under clear-blue skies!
If I were a notorious photoshopper, I would have composed myself as a 30 mm tall climber on a rope into the icy „north-side“ of the sculpture …
Picture 7: Freshly sculptured ice at the north-side during the freezing-process.
Picture 8: … and here the promised „Whisky-on-the rocks“, deflecting the golden colour of the rainwater-chain – colour saturation set „high“.
Picture 9A+B: Spacy formations, which are created in the first freezing period – surface still wet.
Picture 10: Extremely dynamic ice-formations – drops still falling down from the rain-gutter…
Pictures 11 A-C: Clear and deep ice against the sun.
Some sections in the ice looked like deep-sky objects straight against the sun:
Picture 12: „Deep-sky object“
The sculpture boosted my phantasy in many different views.
Picture 13: „Asteroid“
After another deep-freezing night and dry weather, the surface of the ice re-crystallized in the surface, which generated a completely different appearance: a matte skin with an opaque, shining body of the ice-sculpture.
Picture 14 A+B: „Frozen Goliath“ – with a huge Nose and a moustache …
During the freezing-process the water-drops, which hit the growing ice-sculpture, did freeze so fast, that icicles grew in horizontal direction, where the splashing drops had a horizontal component of the dynamic momentum:
Picture 15: Generation of an oblique icicle due to horizontal momentum of drops and very low temperature, which forces to freeze the water extremely quick.
This leads to such extraordinary details – seen at the next day:
Pictures 16 A-C: 3D-Icicles
And under certain (natural) lighting conditions, the ice-sculpure can get the look of Metal …
Pictures 17 A-C: „Frozen Metal Insects“ – this is Ice – Not Metal! I assure you again, that I use no digital filters and no HDR for these pictures – just natural ambient lighting and the fine-adjustment of gradation-curve, colour-dynamic and -saturation.
I hope, you enjoyed my trip through the ice-sculpture, which was created by a fancy mood of nature – and is gone by now since several days!
Copyright – Herbert Börger, fotosaurier – Berlin, 21.02.2021