Last Moments of Winter

ice sheets stacked up along Lake St. Clair Michigan

Last moments of winter, ice sheets stacked up along Lake St. Clair, Michigan

As Spring is now here, I was a bit worried I missed getting out to my ice spot as much as I wanted to this past winter.    I had already heard the bay I usually visit on Lake St. Clair was no longer covered.   The passing of March 20 doesn’t suddenly mean everything turns green though.  Below freezing temperatures are still with us and are forecasted to be around for at least another week at night anyway.   Jokes about Punxsutawney Phil being a liar are abundant.   Even our backyard woodchuck started coming out and then made a hasty retreat with the last snow.

I took a chance this morning that there was still some ice around.   While the bay and a good part of the lake were unfrozen, what I found was my favorite type of ice, the sheets that pile up along the shore.  Another shot I took this morning before sunrise with different light conditions is on my facebook page.  Overall, not a bad morning, and quite a few images left to process.

With temps constantly in the 40s throughout next week and then creeping higher, these may truly be the last moments of winter.

24 Comments

  1. Stunning images Mark!
    Joey Randall recently posted..SAYING GOODBYE TO WINTER ~ VERNAL EQUINOXMy Profile

  2. This is absolutely stunning, Mark. Not only from a photographic standpoint but also I never see sheets as clean as these around our area. The water at the Lake’s edge is very sandy and muddy and that mud gets frozen along with the water an comes out looking brown. Not nearly as nice as this.

    • Thanks Ken. It can get pretty muddy looking here also if there is enough wind and waves towards shore. Fortunately it was quite calm out. This shoreline is also piles of concrete underneath, so I wonder if that also helps in “filtering” the sediments from underneath. One of the reasons I only visit here in winter! :-)

  3. I love looking at your ice shots, Mark; however, I must say, I’m somewhat glad that I don’t have such opportunities around here for such photography. ;) As Ken mentioned, the ice is so clear, free of mud and sand. Wonderful.
    Paul recently posted..Photo Wild: Worth every dollarMy Profile

  4. I’m going to use the same word, “stunning.” I noticed that Paul will head down to hot and humid Mexico but not go north to Michigan in March. Priorities are different, for sure. :-) And, Ken, is right those pieces of ice are so clean looking. Not what we’d find out here. I do love the light in this one! Very well done and worth the effort.
    Monte Stevens recently posted..Two Geese and a Sunrise …My Profile

    • I am not sure I would rather have it hot and humid either – I am more of a mid temp kind of guy. I am glad I didn’t give up on the light Monte. I thought it was going to turn completely grey. Thanks!

  5. Beautiful image; the ice looks super, lovely foreground light on the ice and on the clouds in the background.
    Tom Whelan recently posted..Rosegold willow blossomingMy Profile

  6. Beautiful image Mark. You can feel the cold!! Has a very interesting appearance…..can I ask how you processed it??

    • Thanks Howard. I have found using blended exposures really helps with the translucency of the ice, and I used Luminosity masks quite a bit here.

  7. Hi Mark – I stumbled across ur site as I was scouting for some good spots around IL. Am glad I did. Love ur work. This particular shot is stunning … Am going to take my sweet time to go over ur other shots, Thanks for sharing !!!
    Sathya recently posted..When things are at extreme, sometimes polarities just flip …My Profile

  8. I agree with all the rest this is a stunning image. I like it’s a fairly wide shot and with both warm and cool tones — those light rays through the clouds are great. There almost seems to be a light source from off frame to the left. Is that just light punching through the clouds or was there another source?
    Earl recently posted..PhotoWILD: Still a challenge the second timeMy Profile

    • Earl, thanks. No light source off to the left, just the result of my tinkering with exposure blending. I thought it added a bit of dynamic contrast / further interest in the foreground.

    • Oh and the lighter areas in the sky is the light punching through from above. A big cloud system was moving across.

  9. The colors, the shapes, the spectrum in the sky. Such beauty. Great photograph, Mark.
    David Leland Hyde recently posted..Why Photography Galleries, Curators And Collectors Like Limited EditionsMy Profile

  10. Incredible work as always Mark, your art never ceases to amaze me !!
    Bernie Kasper recently posted..Spruce Flats FallsMy Profile

  11. I can see why this is a favorite spot and favorite subject as well, Mark. I like ice photography too and would love to have a spot with these sheets to enjoy and photograph. You’ve done a really nice job balancing the light with the wonderful luminance of the ice and those beautiful rays on the horizon.
    Steve Gingold recently posted..04.02.2013 Owl Rock CascadeMy Profile

    • Thanks Steve, it is one of the few things that motivates me to get out and shoot in the cold around here. :-) It is nice that it is only a 30 minute drive from my house – so it doesn’t require a tremendous amount of planning other than checking the weather forecast.

  12. amazing photo!
    how i miss winter…
    Ksenia recently posted..Karaoke en RusoMy Profile

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