Pack ice at the dead of night

It’s a quarter to one in the dead of night. And this is a special night. It’s the longest night of the winter, the night of the winter solstice. Yesterday the sun went down at 13:27, today the sun will rise at 9:39. That makes the night last more than 20 hours.

When I came home from lunch today, the sun was already below the horizon. It was however still bright enough to make me realise, that the bay Kallholmsfjärden was covered with pack ice. At 22:45 I took the car to make some pictures of the ice but first I drove to the peninsula Näsudden to check the ice conditions there. Probably the open Baltic Sea would be free of ice beside of some sheltered bays. I was really surprised to see a belt of packed ice even here, probably half a kilometre wide.

After my eyes got used to the darkness I realised, that the pack ice was slightly moving. The drifting ice floes hadn’t frozen together yet and were moved by the waves. Now I could even hear the cracking and creaking sounds of the ice floes. Extremely fascinating and almost inviting to try to jump from ice floe to ice floe …

… no, I didn’t try that. I stayed at the ice rim, that parts land from sea, felt the wind, looked at some snowflakes drifting by and watched the vibrating sea ice. And I took some photos. That’s my tonight’s favourite:

After an hour I started to feel cold. I didn’t plan to be outdoors so long. Learnings: Always take an even warmer jacket and windproof pants with you. But freezing was no big issue: Driving home was a matter of minutes and the first thing I did was taking a really hot shower.

Tomorrow I will take another look. It’s not only weekend but also the first day of my Christmas holidays!

And the snow?

It has been cloudy with temperatures slightly below zero for some days. It even snowed, but only a bit. After lunch I walked along the river Skellefteälven. 15 cm of snow, mostly old and half frozen cover the ground.

I experienced years with much more snow in mid-December but also years where it rained at this time of the season. So I should not complain, but as you can guess I hope for more snow. A lot of more snow.

Waiting for the roof box installation

My ancient roof box, that fitted well on my Saab is quite incompatible to my Subaru Outback. Today I had an appointment with the car repair shop. While I waited for them I took a promenade and made some photos on the nearby property of the boat club Ursvikens Segelsällskap. Nothing special and – due to the dull light – in black and white.

Wintry still live at the coast

This image was taken with my iPhone SE, not with my Nikon camera that I usually take with me. I just forgot it home today. I don’t think, that the iPhone SE has or is a great camera because I’m quite picky when it comes to image quality. But it’s a great backup if you manage to keep it warm in the winter and some of the photos look quite nice.

More winter

Round 20 cm of new snow, still snowing / temperatures round -17 °C, still dropping – that’s a good start for a nordic winter in my opinion.

Two photos from today:

Four icy points of view

Another clear and cold day today with temperatures round -14 °C. This time I took the car to the coast of Fäbodarna near Burvik. The Baltic Sea was partly open, party covered with drifting pancake ice. Today I tried different approaches of taking (and editing) photos which the goal to only show water, ice, air and light.

Landscape

How to show landscape without showing anything other then the elements above. Well, I failed since I wanted the sun within the image and there were trees at the horizon. The only chance was to use a wide angle and go close to the motive to decrease the size of the forest line. (I had one foot in the water and had the camera so low, that I had to lift it up for every tiny wave rolling in.)

Architecture

I didn’t plan to make architectural photos but when I found this group of icicles I thought it looked like an old Greek temple or a portico. Again I had to lower the camera, the icicles weren’t so large.

Contrasts

Quite often I think, that I should make more black and white photographs. Today I started again. Especially when it comes to extreme contrasts I really like the reduction to black, grey and white. This type of photo however demands a bit more effort on the viewer’s side.

Abstract

Mostly I walked on different types of ice, each with it’s own structure and texture. Some where as clear as glass, others were composed of ice needles. I stood on the ice and tried to adjust the camera perpendicularly. This image became black and white as well and I increased the contrast a lot to make the textures more visible. After editing I started to see a cubistic figure in the photo. This was not intended but I guess that most people unconsciously try to see concrete things in abstract art.

Micromountains

After two weeks of cloudy and gloomy weather it started to clear up and the sun came out, glistening from a cloudless blue sky. I was out at 8 o’clock, sufficiently early to catch the sunrise.

The photo however I liked most was of the frost-covered tree stump which I developed in black and white.

 

The snow returns

I dislike thaw. When it’s winter I want to see white snow, not brownish slush and drizzle falling from low-hanging clouds.

The latter was the weather that we got for four days. The snow slid from the roofs and melted away and under many water puddles sheer ice covered the roads. But alas, yesterday the weather changed and it started to snow. Today it has been quite windy and it has been constantly snowing. The strong winds glue the wet snow to the houses, the cars, and the windows.

I guess, we got round 20 cm of snow the last 24 hours and it continues snowing. The thick brown half-frozen chunks of wet snow, that framed all streets start to get a fresh white snow blanket and small snow drifts cover the roadways.

Yes snow – that’s more my cup of tea. I hope however, that the wind gusts will stop soon, since tomorrow the Winter Swimming World Cup and Scandinavian
Championship 2016 will take place in Skellefteå and I guess it won’t be much fun for the swimmers standing in some kind of “snow storm” dressed only with a swimsuit and a warm cap. And neither for me, who is going to take pictures of this event.