I can't believe the extremes of weather we're having this winter, from uncharacteristic warmth and sunshine to extremes of snow, wind and unusually cold temperatures. In the last few days, we had one of the most severe windstorms in our community's history, with gusts reaching 80 miles an hour. Driving winds and freezing temperatures might not make for a situation where you would decide to go and grab a camera to take some pictures, but things were so out of the ordinary, that's exactly what I did.
The picture I'll share with you is special because it was taken at a pier that was being whipped by wind and pelted by freezing lake water which created some interesting ice formations on the hand rails leading out to a navigation beacon.
I made the image with a 70 - 200 telephoto lens which I set to 70mm to provide the widest field of view ... I wanted both to compress the distance perceived to the light beacon and to take in the ice covered railings and the rough seas. The wind was so intense, that my tripod wasn't fully extended to help prevent it from getting caught in a gust. The pier itself, and my position closer to left side helps to draw the viewer into the image, which was shot about an hour prior to sunset.
I used a neutral density to add to the texture seen in the clouds and set my color temperature to cloudy to warm the image up slightly. The camera was shot at an ISO of 100 and stopped down to an aperture of F20 to extend the depth of field. That also required a long exposure of 18 seconds which tended to intensify the look of the spray shooting over the breakwall. The camera is focused to a point about 1/3 of the way down the pier to help maximize what's clearly in focus.
I am pleased with the image, it's unique, and the weather that created it is not likely to be experienced again for a long time to come. Bad weather ... grab your camera!