Winter Photography: Freezing Rain

My humble opinion of the frigid winter months is noticeably negative.  I dislike cold weather so I stay inside for the most part. Ultimately, I want to hibernate. But since taking up photography, I’m beginning to see there’s an upside to the season.


Tree branches encased in ice after a freezing rain storm. Photo by Adrian J. Miller

Frozen branches and pine needles lit and in a contrast to bricks is an instant draw for my eye. The light shines through the ice and highlights an intricate shape.

There is beauty to be found everywhere. Especially after an ice storm, but in winter there are unique opportunities to capture frosts, footprints & fresh snowfalls.

But best of all, it’s fun to look for patterns.


Mom says ‘Safety first!’ Helmets are important after an ice storm. Photo by Adrian J. Miller

Setting out like me to shoot just after an ice storm? Better have a helmet on – creaking branches bearing their frozen weight may snap suddenly. I can be dangerous. 

When taking winter photos –  mind the weather, and protect your gear. But really, look after your body. I bundle up to stay warm, and keep batteries close to my chest. The chemical reactions that make batteries work is limited by cold (just like me). An obvious risk is the moisture you can accidentally introduce to your equipment. Keep the camera warm and dry.

I shoot today at a low ISO, with a low exposure to not wash out the subject.  

Look for Patterns

Trust that you don’t have to go far. In my own back yard, a layer of ice covers everything.  I look at every material object and the light is highlighting these crystalline structures that now shape the world. This is a happy result when rain falls overnight while the surface temperature is below freezing. 


Icicle network formed on a bobcat cab. Photo by Adrian J. Miller


Ice encasing the first buds of an early spring. Photo by Adrian J. Miller

Trust that you don’t have to go far.

The morning sun is soft behind the clouds.  This is fantastic because I want to see the details in this newly frozen world. Especially before it melts away.


“The Original Icicle Lights” Photo by: Adrian J. Miller

To get these photos, I use a Zeiss 50mm prime lens and get close to the everyday that never looked so pretty.