Nature is an incredible artist, it never ceases to amaze me what magnificent drawings I find everywhere, it would seem, in the most unexpected places.
Sometimes, on the Internet, I come across images that do not leave me indifferent. I’m starting to think about how and under what conditions this picture was taken. Searching for an answer to such questions frequently leads me to create something more, usually, it ends with a whole project, a series on a specific topic.
So it happened with this series. I was interested in the photo of the ice from above, there was a mysterious drawing on it that somehow resembled a snowflake. I had never seen anything like it until that day. The photo was small and there was no description, and it took many months before I tried to figure out what this phenomenon was and to photograph it.
I made this decision this winter. By this time, I had already gained experience in flying a drone, and flying in frost and wind stopped scaring me. Yes, there is often a small risk of breaking equipment, and of course, you need to take this into account, but if you weigh the risk of damage or loss of equipment and the chance of getting great footage, then I often choose the latter.
I began to travel to the surrounding lakes and watch what was happening to the ice surface starting in the fall when the temperature began to drop below 0 and the water in the lakes began to freeze. I chose several suitable freshwater lakes of different depths and almost every day I came to one of them and took photos from the copter.
The lakes froze unevenly. Some were covered with thin and even ice and looked smooth and dark, on large lakes there were often waves from the constant wind and a thin crust of ice broke before freezing, turning on the shore into white shapeless hills. The surface of the lakes often changed due to temperature fluctuations, there were various other patterns. but I could not find the patterns I was looking for. Something I did wrong, they simply weren’t there, conditions were needed about which I did not know.
When the ice was completely frozen, many fishermen appeared, who left holes in the ice, and in the years from above, it began to look not beautiful and bad. In winter, the ice did not change, then a little snow fell, but it was enough that the texture of the ice would no longer be visible. Later in winter, when the ice became thick and there were frosts of about -20 ° C, white long cracks appeared on the ice, some of them were so long that sometimes they passed through the whole lake.
In the spring, the temperature began to rise, the sun began to shine more. The ice began to melt just around these holes, which were made by fishermen, as well as sticks of leaves and other objects that fell on the ice. The water warmed up, the surrounding years melted around them to form these amazing patterns in the form of snowflakes. This phenomenon lasted up to two weeks. When such patterns appeared on the ice, it was no longer possible to walk on it, it was loose, it was not possible to come closer with a camera and take a picture close.
I managed to catch these patterns only on two lakes, and only those that were deep and thawed the longest, maybe I missed something, but my experience is like that. The most successful and expressive shots were obtained from a height of about 20m. And as a bonus, I met the inhabitants of the lakes and took some pictures.
About Olena Kurylo
Olena Kurylo international award-winning photographer, specializing in landscape and aerial photography, as well as in fine art photography. Her love for creativity originated in childhood and develops, along with the development of technology, remaining a constant part of her life.
The world is always in motion, and photographers of all times strive to capture this movement in their works. A strong series sets a trend, a certain direction, a way of reflecting events, begins to evoke a response in the hearts, can leave a mark in the work of other artists. And often the reaction of the cultural environment to this reflection determines the direction in which the world of photography develops. This, in turn, influences people’s views on life events and ultimately manifests itself in their interaction, and can change their lifestyle in general. In her series, Olena Kurylo strives to follow the flow to emphasize the beauty of nature, to show that the world is beautiful, and is deeply convinced that to change the world for the better, we must look for a way to reflect in our series and popularize only those phenomena and events that contribute to the preservation of a fragile world.
Her works have been repeatedly being awarded. Among her achievements is 1st place in the Ukrainian part of the largest photography competition in the world Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM). Other significant awards include the HM Neutral Density Award of the competition, which is organized in Paris (France) by ND Magazine, as well as the HM APA 2020 award from the annual international photo contest, Nominee in the annual 7th edition of Fine Art Photography Awards. Her photos received many honors, editor choice, and other lesser awards. [Official Website]