Like no other season, winter creates unique and fleeting art using the most basic components nature provides. Icicles are a case in point. No two icicles are the same, and no single icicle remains unchanged for longer than a few minutes. It is up to us to see their beauty and recognize their potential for a powerful image. Sometimes this is easy, other times it takes a second or third look to discover a hidden gem.
I take the vast majority of my images close to where I live, and when winter comes, I look for two types of compositions. On the one side, big mountain vistas are made easier by the simplifying effect of the white blanket the snow provides. On the other side are those simple, temporary structures that can't be planned but want to be discovered.
A stroll along a small river in a nearby forest may provide hundreds of compositions, appearing, disappearing, and changing daily. The frozen branch in this picture immediately appealed to me, reminding me of a giant spider about to attack its prey, the little leaf in the centre of the frame. Whereas it was relatively easy for me to see the composition, taking the shot was quite challenging.
Getting the right angle for the shot required me to stand in the icy water in a rather delicate and slippery spot. It took ages until I had positioned my tripod the way I wanted, and my feet felt like ice cubes. But when I returned home and saw the image, I knew it was worth the effort.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor