Salty Winter ©Steve Chong

Tech Info

Salty Winter

Camera: Canon EOS/1V
Lens: Tamron SP24-135mm
Film: ASA100
Aperture: F3.5
Shutter: 1s
Filter: Polarizing Filter, Hoya 80A
Light: Natural Light from Window
While I was having a stroll this morning, the burnt branches near my neighbor's house caught my attention. Though it was rather small but its majestic shape really inspired me. Suddenly a lone tree standing solemnly in a stormy chilly winter emerged on my mind. "I have to shoot this!" I said to myself. So, I brought it back with me, some passer by looking at me strangely along the way.

1 - I utilized a large plastic bag measured 4' x 4'. It was wrinkled deliberately because I figure that would create enough texture to simulate a stormy looking sky. Next I hanged it on a window to make the lights more diffuse and soft. I am rather happy when I look through the viewfinder to see my humble creation.

2 - A container measured 4' x 3' x 3" was placed on the table about 2 feet away from the window. Approximately 5KGs of soil mixed with sand were filled in the container.

3 - The biggest challenge came when I have to decide the better material to be used to emulate the snow. I have tried sugar and flour. Nothing works as effective as salt. Sugar would melt and flour is too soft and rather messy.

4 - I bought about 2KGs of salt and spread on the surface gently with my hand and at the same time crushing the little "Salt stones". The surface was later smoothened carefully.

5 - I inserted the tree on the surface; I figured it would be too plain without something to compliment and act as secondary subject to the tree. So I placed a few "Salt stones" on the right side and at the back of the tree.

6 - Next I drew a line to simulate a small path, which was intended to enhance the composition and add more interest to the shot. The final touch was to sprinkle some salt onto the tree.

7 - 80A cold filter and a polarizing filter were used to enhance the stormy effect. I turned the polarizing filter gently to get rid of the unflattering flare and glare generated by the plastic bag.

After countless retouching here and there on the setup I finally got this shot. กก

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