This being the last week of the year and still no snow where I am in the Pacific Northwest, frost is the next best thing. Photographing it can be a real pain in the rear, especially when it requires an up-close view and a lens that can focus almost to within macro range, if not closer. Where I am, hoar & advection are perhaps the best, and trickiest, types of frost to shot properly because of its shape, form & texture. Interestingly enough, because of the challenge, they are also some of my favorites to shoot because of the patterns they form on the leaves & other plants.
In the above photograph, frost takes on a kind of outline quality and helps with the shallower depth of field (f8). The shutter, a little lower than recommended hand-held operation, was low enough to help with the blur if there was motion, but, thankfully, the cold weather wasn’t making me shiver; dress warm & beware when shooting at freezing temperatures, not just because you might get sick, but because the filters can tighten to the lens and be hard to take off and the lens can fog up easily when going from warm to cold or vice versa. With this shot, I was aiming for the brownish-red leaf and placing it in the left third of the frame, leaving the rest of what is a bush rimmed with the frost to make up the rest of the composition.
The thing is, when dealing with frost, it can be a real pain, especially when directly focusing on the frost itself. Patience, as well as trial & error, are definitely things to have when trying out these kind of shots (three things that I don’t necessarily have anywhere near enough of), but so is stubbornness; stubbornness in that there’s no will to give up & proverbially hang up the towel when it comes to the shot. So think about these the next time you’re out taking frost photographs, I sure will be, and have a Happy New Year’s!