Big Bertha's Adventures

Winter Wonderland

I wasn’t sure if my box lights were designed for the winter.  I decided to take a chance and take one outdoors for a night photo shoot in my backyard.

Technically, my backyard is a mess with an overgrown passion flower vine that is now dead.  Plus there’s a variety of other dead plants and also bushes that will return in the spring.  To the casual observer, it’s a mess.  But through my camera lens, it is a winter wonderland.  I’ll show you what I mean…


My outdoor patio table.  I’m glad I got this shot.  Having the box light on for an extended period of time was thawing out the patio furniture.

Big Bertha's Adventures

I’m not entirely sure –  I think this is a crepe myrtle.  One of my favorite shots.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Branches.  I included the specs to help compare this shot with the next.

F-stop:  f/2.5
Exposure time:  1/30 second
ISO speed:  ISO-3200
Focal length:  50mm

Big Bertha's Adventures

Same shot but this time you can see more color in the background.

F-stop:  f/13
Exposure time:  1.6 seconds
ISO speed:  ISO-3200
Focal length:  50mm

Big Bertha's Adventures

Another one of my favorite shots.  To get this photo, I had to notice a tiny detail like a blade of grass that was not embedded in the 1 1/2 inches of ice on the ground. How’d I notice?  At the time I was lying flat on my stomach taking photos of other plant-icicles.  I took extra shots to make sure I had at least one photo that worked.

Big Bertha's Adventures

While I was on the ground, I broke a plant.  So I made use of one of the leaves.  This is another one of my favorite shots.

Big Bertha's Adventures

A patch of grass in the flowerbeds.  While not the appropriate place for grass, I liked having it for the photo shoot.

Big Bertha's Adventures

By this time, I was embedded in the garden, among the vines and trees.  I used my tripod to ensure steadiness.

Big Bertha's Adventures

This is the same view but just pulled back a bit so that you can see more vegetation.

Big Bertha's Adventures

This is a close-up of the passion flower vine.  It has spiral tendrils that latch on to virtually anything.  But this time the ice got it!

Big Bertha's Adventures

This is a Rose of Sharon.  I stood behind the tree and carefully positioned the box light toward the tree.  I really like how it glistens.  The faint orange color that appears is the brick on my home.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Camera used:
Big Bertha (Canon EOS 5D Mark II)

Additional equipment:
Tripod:  many shots were impossible without the tripod.  For some shots I carefully placed the camera directly on the ground.
Box light:  I don’t own a flash on my camera yet!   The box light worked well for my needs.  It illuminated much of the backyard making it possible to take some great shots.

Look for different perspectives when taking photos.
Look for details – such as frozen leaves, tendrils or even a blade of grass.
Don’t let night time prevent you from taking photos.  Tripods make all the difference.

December 2013

4 thoughts on “Winter Wonderland

  1. Beautiful! (Then again, I’m partial to the winter wonderland look up here. 😉 ) I love when everything is silently blanketed in white or sparkling like diamonds. Some of the photos of branched look like delicate arms of a snowflake–very nice!

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