A slice of cake (+1 re-edit)

With suggestions applied -

On our final morning at Lake Superior pancake ice was starting to form and while only video can show exactly how its made (will get to processing that soon), I liked this little section and thought it might make an interesting abstract. Basically the ice sheet forms, breaks up and then the motion of the water causes the broken pieces to bump into each other. The longer they do that the more circular they become and the edges get thickly built up with smashed ice. I wish I could have stayed a few more days to see how it progressed.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

Not being an avid abstract photographer I don’t know if this works or not. It was definitely the most interesting arrangement of the ice in view.

Technical Details

Handheld standing on a huge, ice-covered rock.


Lr for a biggish crop and some work to boost the colors and contrast. Added texture, clarity and some sharpening. Actually reduced saturation slightly since the reflection of the sky was pretty intense.

You have a wonderful intimate shot here, Kristen. Excellent job of seeing the dynamic ice. I like the image as is, but added a quick B&W conversion just for fun. More could be done to tweek the tones in the B&W. The color image displays the lake look. Perhaps the bright blue (sunny day) overwhelms the image a bit, just my perception on first and second looks at the image. NIce image. Your connection with nature shows through here - a lot. Wonderful.

Thanks @Larry_Greenbaum - I really tried to connect with my surroundings on this trip so that I wouldn’t get hung up on just small slices or big landscapes. Seems that every time I go to Lake Superior it becomes about something other than the lake itself - first time was rocks since it was summer, this time it was ice, which I suppose is about the lake, but not always. Many cliff walls are hung with massive icicles and I have some photos of those, too.

The black and white is a different take for sure and if I do one this way it will be interesting to play with luminosity to see if I could tease out a greater range. The reflected blue sky was rather uniform in color.

Hi Kristen, the ice formations are interesting. I can see why you titled it the way you did. The ice forms a nice zig-zag pattern. Exposure, color, and focus all look fine to me. Perhaps a slight bump up in the mid tones using a curves adjustment.

Regarding the composition, I would recommend cropping off the top section where the ice is not uniform. This will help focus the eye on the most interesting shapes in the bottom and center of the frame.


Love this. This might not be the impression you’re trying to portray or certainly the experience you had, but for me this just has bright, crisp and refreshing look and feeling. Kinda goes against the concept of ice and cold, but the contrast between the clean and bright whites of the crushed ice and the reflected blues is just, well, crisp and refreshing. Not quite sure how else to describe. The lines and patterns seem somewhat random, yet all in its place.

My suggestion is just of the nitpicky variety and suggest cloning out the little ball of ice near the bottom left edge and perhaps the dark dash on the lower right edge. Only suggesting if I was to print this. but then again this is yours and those are quite minor things. Otherwise, I find this quite wonderful as presented. Kudos on the processing - Excellent-tay!


Thanks @Alfredo_Mora & @Lon_Overacker - sorry it took me so long to reply, was playing with hard drives and now I have most of that sorted I can start processing photos again. I put a new shot in the OP with some taken off the top, but I couldn’t part with that little nugget of ice, Lon. I like it for some reason. I think it adds a bit of whimsey and balance.

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