Abraham Lake Ice bubbles - Free Photography Tips

Winter is the most spectacular time in the Canadian Rockies. For me, that’s because ice offers endless compositional photo opportunities.

There’s no place quite like Abraham Lake in Alberta which boasts millions of methane bubbles trapped under ice. As the vegetation in the lake decays under the ice it releases gases which form bubbles that cannot escape their icy prison. The result is pure artwork.

Behind The Shot

Let it be known that those ice cleats you fit over your boots most definitely have a shelf life. After two years of wear and tear my cleats had been worn down to stubs and actually made walking on the ice more dangerous. The next day I invested in a fresh pair but I wasn’t going to let a few painful wipe outs prevent me from capturing this shot.

Sometimes I like to place a person in the shot to add scale and also add a secondary light source which really helps build a story around the scene.

To do this, I set my camera to a 10″ timer, hit the shutter and slid into place like a greased Michelin Man. I kept as still as possible during the 25″ exposure to minimize the blur on my subtle body movements. I had to try a few different shots to place myself in just the right part of the frame and determined that standing at the end of that particular crack would offer a nice reflection in the ice.

Having done many ‘selfies’ this way I’ve learned that it’s best to angle the headlamp down slightly so that the figure gets slightly backlit and also to reveal some detail in the middle ground of the shot. I love how the light from the headlamp accents the sharp edges of the ice where it breaks into plates.

I learn something new every time I go shooting by trial and error. Making mistakes is by far the best way to learn anything.

If you’d like to learn more about shooting nightscapes I’ve put together a collection of free astrophotography tutorials in my blog that you might find useful.

I’ve also posted an entire blog post entitled Free Abraham Lake Photography Tips – Ice Bubbles and Cracks

Thanks for Looking
Gavin Hardcastle

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