Like a thief, winter sneaks upon the unexpected. The cold, the darkness; both seasons for depression and general irritableness. Icicles have formed in my backyard overnight, hanging from the canopy awning that I still need to package away for the upcoming cold months.

The sun is rising from the horizon, and I return to my morning duties and chores, while keeping an eye on the circle’s progress. It’s not time yet, not quite. When the sun has inched further into the sky, I return with my camera. I have already visualized the image in my mind—in a manner that my mentor, Ansel Adams, would approve of—and capturing the image is now only a formality, a practice in patience.

In my mind’s eye, I visualize how a particular…sight and feeling will appear on a print. If it excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph. It is an intuitive sense, an ability that comes from a lot of practice ~ Ansel Adams

This is going to be a good image, nay great, probably one of my favorite images—as long as I can nail the water droplet.

I bump the shutter speed to “super fast”, image capture is set to “a whole bunch in rapid succession”, manually focus on the ice structure, select a mid-aperture to throw the background out of focus (just enough), and click away. After several attempts, and numerous frivolous exposures, there is one that speaks to me on a creative level. The image on my LCD matches that one frame that I had imagined in my mind, moments before.

If only I could query Ansel Adams for his opinion, approval. I’m sure he would remain calm, collected, and simply extend a fist-bump of approval. Nailed it, dude.