Olympic Icicles

Across the continent, sports photographers, long lenses focused on a Whistler mountainside, wait for that split second when a downhill skier would pass them at 80 mph.

At perhaps that very same moment, I am engaged in my own winter olympic moment. My macro lens is inches away from a line of icicles hanging from a gutter, waiting for something just as fleeting.

In the days after our record snowfall I'd noticed the huge icicles hanging from roofs all over the region, and began photographing some of the more interesting formations as I drove between assignments. Click here for a gallery.

Yesterday, as I got out of my car for a closer look at some icicles on a guuter, with the temperature hovering right around 32 degrees, I could immediately feel the change in the air as the sun went in and out of the clouds. I could tell when it went above freezing and when it dipped back below again. And standing there under the gutter I could actually hear the snow melting on the sunny roofs and then dripping down the icicles each time.

It was then that I decided to capture a single drop of water. Even though I knew it was coming, it was still difficult to hit the shutter at just the precise moment. I stood there thinking of the downhill racers, or fastballs leaving a pitcher's hand, or even a child's fleeting expression - marveling at both the exquisiteness and evasiveness of those moments in life that occur in just a fraction of a second.