"Inner Workings" - Ice patterns, Mason Neck State Park, Virginia

It's weird, spring is finally arriving but still I'm digging back through some images captured this winter. It seemed wrong to let them sit there on my hard drive unused and unloved. The following was taken after a very long and deep freeze (by Virginia standards). I loved the way these bubbles took on unique shapes and how they formed both above and under the beech leaf. The image reminds me of some sort of inner mechanics of a watch or something. I'll be out in the field later today to search for some flowers to photograph ... perhaps you all will get to see them soon!

"Inner Workings" - Ice patterns, Mason Neck State Park, Virginia.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 @ 70mm. .6 seconds, f/22, ISO 100. Polarizer. Tripod.

"Mason's Nebula" - Ice patterns and beech leaf, Mason Neck State Park, Virginia

I never get tired of photographing ice. Even with spring approaching, I would happily continue photographing the infinte shapes, textures, and lines found within ice. Each trip in search of ice is always different, and I love that. In this image, a small pond at Mason Neck State Park had frozen over completely during an extended cold snap. I doubt this has happened even once in the previous decade. The pond contained many bubbles that rose from the depths, likely caused by decomposing matter along the bottom. The bubbles in this image seemed to originate from and around this beech leaf. The way the pockets of air have been elongated and frozen in place reminded me of a nebula giving birth to stars. 

Next week I will be heading down to Florida for a week of family vacation and a bit of photography. I'm so excited to see my first green leaves of the year, and hope to get a few new images while out kayaking and exploring the many parks of central Florida. Peace out, homies!

"Mason's Nebula" - Ice patterns and beech leaf, Mason Neck State Park, Virginia.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 + 500D Closeup filter @ 78mm. 0.4 seconds, f/22, ISO 100. Tripod. Polarizer.

"Finding Love" - Ice Patterns, Great Falls National Park, Virginia

Why couldn't I have found this charming scene before Valentine's Day? Damn! Let's try to forget about my poor timing, alright? I found this pattern in ice along a small stream in Great Falls National Park, Virginia. I was immediately drawn to the heart shaped hole in the ice. I had to use it in a composition. To me, the lines surrounding, curving up and down, and all around the heart symbolize a search for love. Yeah, yeah. Cut me some slack, I'm an artist!

"Finding Love" - Ice Patterns, Great Falls National Park, Virginia

The scene at Great Falls that morning was really something else. I've never seen the Potomac River so crowded with ice. In fact, I can't ever remember a time that there were icebergs floating down the river. This consistent cold has really provided me with some exciting photographic opportunities. It's not even close to being over yet. Rest assured, you'll be seeing quite a few more ice images.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 @ 172mm. .6 seconds, f/32, ISO 100. Polarizer. Tripod.

"Forgotten Forest" - A foggy day in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Well, it appears that the Nor'easter has missed us for the most part here in Northern Virginia. Bummer! I haven't yet had a single day this year with excellent winter conditions, whether from snow or from ice. However, this time is proving to be valuable to dig back into my archives and process new images. Here, a scene from Shenandoah National Park, Virginia is showcased during a beautiful foggy day in the upper elevations of the park. I processed this one a bit cooler to showcase the effervescent blue tones found throughout the layers of fog. I particularly like the copious amounts of lichen on this group of trees as well as the fresh growth of verdant green leaves.

"Forgotten Forest" - A foggy day in the forests of Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 10-22 @ 21mm. 1/6th second, f/13, ISO 100. Polarizer.

"Doubt Creeps" - Great blue heron fishing along the Potomac River, Great Falls National Park, Virginia

With the relatively warm temperatures of Virginia so far this winter resulting in a complete lack of ice and snow, I've been digging back into my archive of images that never got processed for one reason or another. I find that reevaluating older photographs is an excellent process as what I look for in a worthy image is always changing. I'll be frank, I love this image! Without looking back it would have sat there worthlessly on my hard drive. "Doubt Creeps" captures an image of a great blue heron fishing along the Potomac River last summer. This individual allowed me to approach quite closely and use the wide end of my 70-200mm lens to emphasize the bird in the foreground while also displaying the waterfalls in the background. It always amazes me that these birds choose to fish here among the turbulent waters. I can't wait for the summer of 2015 and the return of the herons.

"Doubt Creeps" - Great blue heron fishing along the Potomac River, Great Falls National Park, Virginia.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 @ 87mm. 1/5th second, f/22, ISO 100. Polarizer. Tripod.