#834. An icy post – with light (and a destination)

By Kristian Wannebo | Travel Photography

Mar 21

Snow can be its own light, but ice wants help.

March 2.The snow is gone (for now).Suddenly a sunny day – just right for ice!Time for a walk to the shore of a small island accessible by a short footbridge.

The narrow beach is sand and stones with some reeds and occasional grass.
The sea is still partly frozen, but thawed at the shore and refrozen with very thin  ice.


The slightly changing water level breaks up the ice…


… and lets water flow over it again –


– with an occasional remnant from last autumn,


or lets in air under the ice.


And there are endless patterns –


– and pebbles,


now a detail.


Before leaving.


All images post-processed in DXO Photolab, mainly by distributing contrast to make details on the ice visible also in the highlight region, sharpened only by downsizing with bicubic sharpen.


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  • Kristian what a great post, I particularly love the shots of the ice that are relative close up, they tell such a wonderful story.

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    I love the patterns in the ice, Kristian – and the pebbles. The landscape shots are so tranquil and peaceful. And from your description, which is pure poetry, I imagine this is all a short stroll from your home! 🙂
    Glad you like DxO Photolab – all my photos are processed through it.

    • Kristian Wannebo says:

      Thanks Jean Pierre!
      Yes, a stroll of about a mile.

      Well, I don’t know yet if I like Photolab as I’m still a beginner at PP.
      But it seems to be able to do sensible things with little work.

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        I start with Photolab – then work through Capture One to control highlights and one or two other things – then DxO’s ViewPoint, to correct verticals (which seem to turn up in heaps of my stuff). After that, it ranges around a bit – I have a variety of these programs to play with, ever since Pascal suggested DS should have an appraisal of what’s out there. I probably lack the technical stuff to produce such an appraisal (being entirely self taught), but I have heaps of fun playing around in post processing.
        On rare occasions I do a bit of touch up (mainly of colour bias) in Lightroom.
        I hardly ever print from Photoshop – I almost always use Mirage to send my shots to the printer, ever since I discovered Photoshop produces a horrible colour effect at times on people’s faces.
        I’ve recently found that neither Lightroom nor Photoshop have a decent panorama program – so I’ve picked up a far more modern, efficient and effective one from Affinity (thank God they were having a promo at the time, so it cost almost nothing!)
        Increasingly over time, I’m finding “retouching” happens less and the main changes are to things like shadows or highlights, verticals (not always – in fact sometimes I exaggerate the problem and make it worse!) But there are times when I have to control the colours – cameras see things differently, and anyway they are restricted by the RGB and (later) CMYK colour gamuts we have to play with, to get our pictures from reality to cardboard.
        Very few shots need “no post processing” – conversely very few really “need” a heavy workover. You often see cautionary notes from experienced pro’s, suggesting that amateurs should cut back on the amount of post processing they do.
        And I guess we’d find it harder to learn from our mistakes, if we keep “deleting” them before we view the final image! 🙂

        • Kristian Wannebo says:

          Thanks Jean Pierre!

          Tone adjustment,
          for “normal” photos I find “Smart lightning” does a pretty good job.
          Here I had to use the curve tool and pull the top 20% a bit to the right and then add a little contrast slider to get midtone contrast back.

          What I really miss is a mode where the curve tool shows what adjustments the other tone tools have done; that would speed up understanding exactly what happens and make additional curve adjustments easier.

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    Very evocative, Kristian!
    Being in Vietnam now but living in Quebec, your pics resonate strongly… number 5 tells the whole story 🙂
    And I love the patterns… they look like pure drapery!
    I use DxO too, since the first Optics Pro… such a tool!

  • Jack says:

    Great post. And not a mention of equipment angst.

    • Kristian Wannebo says:

      Thanks Jack!
      – – –

      Aargh, don’t remind me…
      No, seriously, I don’t believe I have any – or I don’t know what it is…

      ( There certainly are functions I’d like my camera to have, but that has to wait until I really want them and find a suitable solution.)

  • Adam Bonn says:


    These are fantastic! You’ve imbued freezing scenes with a natural warmth and the results are superb

    To be honest I’d walk past every single scene without a second glance whilst whining about the cold.

    So I’m always grateful when another’s eye shows me a different world

    • Kristian Wannebo says:

      Thanks Adam,

      I guess it’s because I live in a climate where winter is long enough to make one adapt to it.
      And having a camera when skiing or skating on a lake…

  • philberphoto says:

    Sorry for coming late to the party! What really spoke to me was how you managed to make the rock look like it is breaking out of the ice for a birth. The birth of a rock, and the ice as a shell. Wow!!! Very, very wow!!! Congrats!!!
    That doesn’t mean other pics are weak, as I particularly liked the cristalline nature of the close-ups

    • Kristian Wannebo says:

      Thanks Philippe!

      > “birth of a rock”
      That’s an idea! Never thought of it…
      I’ll have to take a closer look.

      The close-ups, yes I prefer them too, but with such abundant possibilities I have to restrict myself and then stop photographing before loosing “touch”.

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Just found this post in my email! I love the cracked ice closeup images, Kristian – they are like mysterious crystal puzzles to my eyes. Abstracting ice is always satisfying for both the viewer and the photographer. Nice!

    • Kristian Wannebo says:

      Thanks Nancee!
      I saw your Wabi Sabi photos here on DS and then many of your other photos on your site, so I appreciate your words all the more!

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