Ice Bubbles at Abraham Lake

Using just a 300 lumen headlamp, I was able to light these trapped methane bubbles in the ice of Abraham Lake in the dead of night.

The scene reminds me so much of what we see in outer space that it made me think of the stars and galaxies we’ll one day get to visit.

Behind The Shot

To capture the different angles of light, I experimented with several different positions for the headlamp with different distances on each exposure. I then combined three different exposures in Photoshop to blend the best light from each different angle. By getting really close with the light and pointing the light straight down into the ice it not only made the large bubbles glow but really made the vertical lines of minuscule bubbles stand out.

I had to get down on my hands and knees to capture this composition but I was so enraptured with the scene that I didn’t truly feel the cold until I’d finished shooting and came back to reality. Then it was time to rush back to the car before I became a Gavcicle 🙂

Abraham Lake is one of those places that requires perfect timing to get the ideal conditions. I’d made several failed visits before I got these perfect conditions where the ice was crystal clear and the methane bubbles had begun to stack up. Time it just right and you can actually witness the birth of bubbles as the gases raise from the decaying vegetation and rise to the top only to find no escape. This creates stacks of bubbles that can go down into the ice for 2ft or more.

Thanks for looking
Gavin Hardcastle

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