The Waters Edge

Vermont-Lake Champlain-Star trails-Barge Poles
Wooden barge poles and star trails above Lake Champlain on a very early Spring night.

Early Spring is generally not the time to be out on the Lake Champlain ice here in Vermont but I took a shot with this composition and I think it paid off nicely. I shot this image back in March and as the temps start to warm so doe the ice covering the lake! We had a great deal of cold weather this Winter which froze the lake over completely for the first time since 2007. As it warms though it starts to heave and crack so you better beware if you are out on it, Especially at night.

I wasn’t feeling well when I made this image but the barge poles here are just off of the waterfront shoreline. It’s a pretty easy hop, skip and a jump back to dry land from this location but the ice was just stable enough to support me while I was shooting this image. We have lots of these wooden poles around for the ferries and boats that dock to them and they make interesting subjects especially for night star trail images. I was really looking to place the North star directly above the poles but in my sickness I did not quite nail that part of the composition! I was just a little bit off but I felt it made the composition mush more interesting with the trails slightly off-center from the poles.

This image was shot over the course of two hours with 120 images used to make the final one you see here. I have been experimenting quite a bit with night photography over the Winter and I feel that my results are now getting better and better with each outing. There is a lot of flourescent lighting in the area and that accounts for the yellow glow on the poles. The white balance is difficult to correct for both the sky and the poles but I found a happy medium I was comfortable with here. It is a bit disconcerting when the ice is heaving and cracking while you are on it for two hours but I took a chance and came away with a keeper!