Monday, January 28, 2013

Yates Mill, with the last remnants of ice

I had never visited Yates Mill before today, but thanks to fellow nature photographer Ken Whitlow, I knew it would be a worthwhile place to explore. We arrived about a half hour before sunset, hoping that the sky colors would be warm enough to throw some interesting light on the mill. There never was much of a pictorial sunset, but the clouds offered a nice background field in the northwestern direction. While Ken headed for the lake view above the mill, I paused to explore the possibilities from below the water wheel.

The shot above is a blend of two exposures, one for the sky and one for everything else. I used a 24 mm tilt-shift lens, shifted up a few mm.

I became so intrigued by the water wheel, the rusted gear teeth, and the ice that I quickly did a series of images using a telephoto zoom (100-400 mm).

These icicles must have formed in the manner of stalagmites, though much faster than stones formed by deposition of minerals from dripping water. They appear to be "hanging upward"! No fancy hypoid gear teeth on this wheel, just a straight cut. I wonder what it sounds like in operation. I'll have to wait at least until March to find out.

I used the longest focal length to highlight the shower of water from ice melting on the stonework above.

When I finally tore myself away from the mill works and walked part way around the lake, the light was beginning to fade, but still not showing much warmth of color. I first did an "establishing shot" with the tele. I think you can sense the cold weather in the image.

This is one of my favorite shots of the outing. The vantage point is similar to what Ken Whitlow used for a photo he recently showed me, but we each have our own way of seeing things, and I feel that my image shows an individual approach. 

My final image is an attempt to tie together the foreground and background, both through the obvious use of the water as reflective medium and by setting up the weeds as an analog in size and tone for the mill building.

I can hardly wait for more chances to probe the photo opportunities of Yates Mill - maybe even on a warm day!


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