For obvious reasons, ice storms are capable of wreaking havoc on all of us. Downed trees, power outages, treacherous driving and a host of other problems make them the dread of most. It is no different for me accept that it also brings with it opportunities in photography rarely seen. Seizing those opportunities is an entirely different matter altogether. In most cases, ice formation, particularly on trees and other vegetation is tenuous at best. An increase in the temperature one degree or any light at all from the sun and it is gone….. unless it remains very cold.
A couple years ago, something occurred in my hometown that I had never witnessed anywhere. We had a tremendous ice storm blow in with an extremely cold artic front. Temperatures plummeted and were single digits or low teens both day and night. I had never encountered this before and visually, it rendered the area a winter wonderland unlike any I can recall. The opportunities to create photographs of the frozen landscape were equally unsurpassed.
One evening, as I searched a ridge top of ice covered trees all back lit by the setting sun, I came across one tree in particular that stood apart from the others. So unusual I thought to be able to photograph an ice covered tree at sunset. So rare and fragile are these events, I doubt such an opportunity will ever present itself again in my lifetime. But on this evening, that is exactly what I did. Placing the sun behind the tree threw the long shadows toward me. The air was crisp and the sound of frozen branches crackling in the wind was all about. The ice glistened throughout and actually refracted into a pink color as it passed through the tree branches. Despite the chill in the air this picture is all about paradoxes. It evokes a great sense of warmth in the midst of an otherwise bitter cold evening.