I am fortunate to 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. We have an ice machine that is turned on early each winter and this is an event I am always waiting for. The conditions needed are strong onshore winds along with temperatures of near zero degrees fahrenheit or lower. This causes heavy spray that sweeps on shore driven by these winds and the cold temperatures mean that the spray will freeze on contact wherever it lands leading to fantastical ice shapes.
I had photographed some of these ice shapes and then turned my attention to the bay which was covered by a blanket of wind driven sea smoke, clouds of freezing fog just above the water which is in the act of freezing. I decided to put my drone up to see it from above trusting it could deal with the heavy winds and temperatures well below zero fahrenheit. It handled these conditions just fine but I was fascinated to see from above that the winds were causing lines and streamers of the freezing fog which when they were blown ashore, coated everything they touched with rime ice. These details were not apparent from ground level and by the following morning the bay had frozen over stopping the ice machine for another year.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor