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I live in Wisconsin at the tip of an 80 mile long peninsula that extends out into Lake Michigan. There are wonderful photographic opportunities in every season but my favorite time is winter and ice is a favorite subject of mine. Ice formations are very photogenic as well as ever changing and I have photographed ice from Norway to Antarctica.
This image is taken under an ephemeral pond just a short walk my home and I have photographed here in the winter for many years. The pond gets several feet deep in a wet fall then winter freezes the pond and in this year the ice sheet was about 8 inches thick. But then the pond starts to drain out from under the ice and eventually the weight of the unsupported ice causes the sheet to collapse. But there are trees near the edges of the pond and those trunks can add support enough to keep the ice from breaking resulting in a gap under the ice which is what you are looking at here. This gap is only about 12 inches deep here and I had to slide my camera and myself under the ice to access this vantage point.
I had a 14mm lens on my full frame DSLR and needed focus and exposure bracketing techniques to get everything sharp and in good exposure. The leaf hanging frozen to the underside of the ice sheet along with the little condensation stalactites are only a few inches from the lens so small movements of the camera position made really big changes. It was a very tricky but rewarding composition.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor