Early Morning Hoar Frost

We went to a local park early in the morning because it was perfect conditions for Hoar Frost. Hoar Frost is a deposit of ice crystals on objects exposed to the free air, such as grass blades, tree branches, or leaves. It is formed by direct condensation of water vapour to ice at temperatures below freezing and occurs when air is brought to its frost point by cooling. We had to get there before the sun hit those areas with the frost which makes it more difficult to photograph because there is not much light, meaning much slower shutter speeds. I did not have a tripod so I raised my ISO higher than I usually use. I was using a 150mm Sigma macro lens so I was shooting bursts hoping 1 or 2 frames might be a little sharper than others. With some of the handheld series, I loaded them into a layered Photoshop file and aligned them. Then I let Photoshop merge the sharpest areas of each into one file. It was fun searching for subjects out in the fields and you never know what you will find. Once the sun melted the Hoar Frost I noticed there were some amazing cloud formations. Since I only had the 150mm macro lens with me, I switched to my iPhone to capture some cloud panoramas for a future blog.

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Hoar Frost At Brigantine

While I was photographing the Mute Swans By Gull Pond at the Brigantine Div., Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge early in the morning, I noticed where I was standing, the ground was covered with “Hoar Frost”.

Hoar Frost is defined as “expressing the resemblance of white feathers of frost to an old man’s beard.”

First, to produce any frost, you need water vapor (gaseous form of water) in the air over cold ground with a surface dew point at least as cold as 32 degrees. When these water vapor molecules contact a subfreezing surface, such as a blade of grass, they jump directly from the gas state to solid state, a process known as”deposition”, leading to a coating of tiny ice crystals.

All images shot with the Canon 24 – 105mm @24mm or 105mm.

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