Behind the Lens: Ice Patterns, Loon Lake

by Mark Bowie | Photography

Ice Patterns and Reflections, Loon Lake

Exposure Data:
1/30 sec, f/22, ISO 100
Nikon D80, Nikkor 12-24mm lens set at 16mm.

Winter unveils a slew of photo opportunities not found in the other seasons. With falling temperatures come snow and ice. Watch intently how weather affects the landscape and you’ll see lots of interesting natural phenomena. Lakes and ponds glaze over with fresh ice. Intricate ice crystals form on rocks in rivers and streams. Snow clinging to trees highlights repeating forms, and in open areas wind blows snow into geometric patterns. Come winter, forms, patterns and textures command center stage.

One winter sunrise I found newly made ice covering a quiet bay in a backwater of Loon Lake. Tall pines topped a small island near the center. The inlet was still open so I positioned myself so that the reflections of the pines would appear in it. Note also how the diagonal of the open water joins with the swirls on the ice to lead your eye into the distance. I was particularly enamored by the painterly reflections of the trees and clouds on the ice, and how the warm tones of sunrise contrasted with the cool blues of winter. Interestingly, it was a contrast between a time of day and a season.

Need a refreshing change with your picture-taking? Get out and experience winter, then try to transfer your sensations into images. It can take the art of seeing into another realm.

Mark Bowie is a frequent contributor to Adirondack Life magazine and a much sought-after public speaker, offering presentations to camera clubs, environmental groups and others. He is also a staff instructor for the Adirondack Photography Institute (API), which recently released its 2018 schedule of workshops. Mark’s annual Adirondack winter workshop is January 28–31. For details on all the workshops see For more on Mark’s work, visit Happy Holidays to all!

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