Best of the Beast

This image was taken during a massive snow storm earlier this year that the British Met Office dubbed the “Beast from the East”. The snow was piling up on the roads and very few cars were out. I wanted to capture the essence of the storm in full force. When I arrived at the location there was no one else around, I knew that any image o took that day would be unique and the when the storm died down the following day many would be out.

This lake only freezes over every few years and creates some spectacular ice features when it does. These lines combined with the snow, frozen lake and 80mph winds makes me feel that this shot really coveys the scene and the mood well but am interested to hear other opinions.

PS - it looks quite cool printed

What technical feedback would you like if any?

none - but if there is something glaring then fell free

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I went for the split composition to highlight the curved ice features but still convey that this was being taken in the mountains with the bulk of the action in the middle of the frame. How does this comp work for you guys?

Any pertinent technical details:

Sony A7ii | Canon 70-200 f4L
118mm | f/16 | 1/10s | ISO50 | +0.3ev
Shielded like hell from the 80mph winds
Single shot

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.


I do like the composition despite the split scene as you described it. There is a nice flow from the bottom ice formations through the stormy midground and I think keeping the mountains really does give one the sense of place.

For me, what I don’t get is the sense or feeling of being very windy. Of course it’s because I didn’t experience the outing, but the mist in the center just appears as mist rising from the water and I don’t get the sense of a violent wind. But what does matter is what you experienced and get from this image capture.


The comp works very well for me Eugene. I also like the ghostly presence of the mountain in the background.

@Lon_Overacker and @Eva_McDermott thanks both so much for your comments on the comp. Appreciated. Yeah, I loved taking the image. Being out there was quite an experience.

I see what you are saying Lon. Maybe to look at on it’s own you may get a feeling of it being a bit serene with some mist. The mist is actually snow being blown up against the trees at the end of the lake but as you suggest, you may not know this. It has given me a few ideas on how to capture wind blown snow for next time. Thanks for you thoughts on it :slight_smile:

@Eva_McDermott and @Lon_Overacker apologies to you both for the late reply. Life got in the way a bit for the last few days.