The gentle constructs of the snow and ice were still just clinging to our forsythia bush, and really attracted my attention. Along the top edge of the thin branches were really cool little ice constructs that were beginning to fall off due to the slight wind and the sun’s peeking from behind the clouds. I knew I didn’t have a lot of time before this ice was gone, so I shot a series of shots — handheld! — with this mammoth lens on the front of the camera.
I was having to capture this at f/8 for to widen the insanely tight depth of field on this lens. Unfortunately, that also meant really long shutter speeds, which didn’t work well when magnified like this in a light breeze, so that meant cranking the 7D up to ISO 800, which gave me a handhold-able speed of 1/320th. Still, I had to put the camera in high speed continuous shooting mode to “spray and pray” for a shot where my wobbling, the wind’s blowing and the lens’ depth of field all came together at the right time. I suppose I could’ve put the camera on a tripod, and used something to clamp the branch in place, but where’s the fun in that? 🙂
In the digital darkroom, I brought the image into Photoshop CS4E, reducing noise with Nik Dfine, adding a couple of control points with Nik Viveza, and finishing it off with the Glamour Glow filter from Nik Color Efex Pro. I’m really growing to like that soft filter look in some of my nature images, and it really seemed to work for this one.