Courtesy of Old Man Weather, I had something to shoot today. Not that I should have bothered, but…
This misshapen blob (that puts me in mind of a tardigrade) is just sleet, the ‘winter storm’ that we’re having right now in central NC – it’s been coming down steadily since 8 AM, according to The Girlfriend (I went to bed at 5 AM and it hadn’t started then – no, don’t ask.) It’s considerably better than a lot of the country right now, so no complaints, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of things to photograph. Not to mention that it’s presently warm enough that it might as well be rain, for all the moisture that gets on the camera equipment, so this is all that I’m going to do about it. As the temperatures drop tonight, things might get really ugly out on the roads at least, and there have been countless warnings about power outages because – and it still irritates me to say this – we still haven’t progressed enough as a species not to hang necessary utilities through the middle of the air, through trees, and so on. We apparently can remember slightly better than a goldfish to know when ice might drop powerlines and trees and so on, but not enough to do something about preventing it.
Anyway, I played for a few minutes, and I’ll take a moment here to address something incidental. I mentioned earlier that I keep roughly half of what I shoot, which might seem haphazard, or even a bit inept. But this is partial illustration of why.
I already knew, from past experience, that ice and snow are difficult to photograph, especially en masse as it were, because of how they scatter light. So I spent some time playing around with getting a viable image, which included pushing up the accumulated sleet into a peak to get a dark background, and in this case, flanking that little peak with red and blue paint bottles for reflected color. It’s a little harsh, and may have benefited from different colors, but I didn’t have a lot at my disposal and wasn’t going to go nuts over it either. There were also adjustments to light angle and intensity from the macro softbox rig. Which means that out of the 30 frames I just shot, I might keep three or four, but I also have a little more experience in tackling such a subject in future. And someone may ask, “So how often do you expect to photograph sleet?” but the same traits apply to raindrops and glass objects and so on. Just small additions to the mental catalog.