So I admit that this was not really intended to be my PoTD. The play of light against the trunk, and the contrast of the branches against the sky caught my eye and I shot it on a whim as I was heading back into the house to warm up. If I had simply shot this one first I could have saved myself some time.
Other than the ISO, I let the camera pick the settings for me and it chose f/5.6 at 1/125th of a second. I had the focal length set to 18mm; e.g., zoomed right out. I had to crop the picture slightly because this lens tends to vignette at the corners, especially if I have the filters on - and there was no way I was going to shoot this one without the polariser.
I boosted the exposure a bit to enhance the hoar frost a bit, and then boosted the shadows a bit to bring out the play of light and shadows across the trunk. I colour-corrected it for daylight, and then boosted the saturation make the picture as alive as it was in person. If I have one complaint about the Nikon, it's that it tends to under-saturate its pictures. It's a pretty minor complaint, mind you, because it's something that is easy enough to fix in software.
This one would have looked better if the sun was catching it more directly. Fir trees do wonderful things with a hoar frost.
The morning sun really brings out the frost on the trees. Unfortunately it also tends to burn off the frost very quickly, so there is a comparatively short window in which to capture your pictures. You can see the vignetting that I mentioned above - I purposely left it in here to illustrate. I managed to remove about 2/3 of it using software, but the only way to get rid of the rest would be to crop at this ponit.
This is the one that I was grooming to be my picture for today until I saw the elm tree shot later in the set.