On the day I took the photographs of the Ice Entities series, I had planned to visit a former spoil dump near my home where I knew I would find and old and disused spoil loading tower. I live area with countless relics of the old coal mining and steel industry. So, I had planned to go there and add some shots to my archive, Maybe someday I might use them for some kind of local photo project. However, I found something else to photograph, which I had not expected. Right there in the gravel, several big puddles had formed – and were frozen. Countless bubbles had been trapped in the ice, along with fallen leaves, and small pebbles and sticks. In some places, the ice was cracked, creating interesting lines and patterns. And the best of all, I had my macro lens with me!
This allowed for 50 minutes of merry shooting, resulting in 35 images. The pictures are slightly reminiscent of my Wax series, but they do have their own distinct character to them.
The Nikon Z6 performed like a champ
I am also delighted to report, that my (relatively) new Nikon Z6 performed like a champ on this impromptu shoot. Regardless of what you might have heard about the Z-system on the web from various influencers on YouTube, the autofocus works absolutely reliably, allowing me to focus on the composition. What also helped was the ISO-performance of the Z6. If the exposure times were critical, I simply bumped the ISO to 3200. This is an absolute no-brainer with this camera because the image quality is still outstanding then.
The tilting screen was also helpful, especially because the image stabilization worked wonders. I could crouch down, and shoot downwards with my outstretched arms and still get sharp photos. In fact, I doubt, I would have been able to do this with my old camera – at least not handheld like I did on that day. It would have been much more difficult and time-consuming.
The Ice Entities Series
Twenty abstract photographs came out of this session, all of them showing not only the delicate structures and patterns of broken ice but also strange beings of all kinds and shapes, that I carefully brought out in Photoshop. These are the Ice Entities. With the notable exception of one particular image, no pixels were moved, add, or removed in the process. All I did was use various dodging and burning techniques.
Creating these images in Photoshop was pure fun and I am very pleased with the results. And what’s more, is that I am apparently not the only one. A selection of the series won the 3rd place in the 6th Fine Art Photography Awards.
Click on the image below to get to the full gallery of all 20 pieces of the series. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.