Blizzard of '22 +RP



Reference image. uncropped, minimal processing. This was the scene. I couldn’t make much out of this from a standard landscape perspective, so out came the ICM tool.

EDIT: Added a rework based on Phil’s comment. Added some canvas below and also a bit of lightening (anti-vignette?). Also including a snapshot of the scene to get an idea of the potential of a scene for choosing ICM.
@Matt_Payne , not sure if this was anything like your recent outing, so thought I would post for comparison.

Happy 2023 everyone! Apologies for my absence - and I hope this post will kick start me back in to active participation.

One of the things I have enjoyed with the ICM is using the technique to actually simulate or mimick reality. Was it snowing? nope, but with a combination of movements, snow-laiden limbs can produce the effect of falling, blowing snow in a barren forest.

Specific Feedback Requested

Would love your reaction, impressions and suggestions for improvement.

Thank you!

Technical Details

Nikon D800E, 28-300mm @48mm, f/16 1/4s. ICM with combined vertical and diagonal movement


This is just beautiful, Lon.
So subtle, yet so strong in its message and wintry feeling. The blank areas of snow at the bottom, variations in tones of the trunks, and diagonal driving snow, seem to be just perfectly balanced, to me anyway. Your ‘jiggly’ (Brooks Jensen) camera technique has worked to perfection here. I just love this shot and can’t see any room for improvement except maybe a wee bit extra space at the base of the trunks.
I’m pleased you are posting again as I have missed your work. Previously, I found it quite inspirational. Cheers.


YIKES, this one gave me a bit of Daje vu, Lon. I thought I was back up at Fort Yukon in AK. After our recent storms did you take this one out of your window up there in Live-No-More as I think you called it… :laughing:
Regardless where it was taken and your in the field or post processing it works wonderfully as presented…really nice stuff, Lon… :+1:

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Wow Stunning!! I think this is one of your best. Glad to have you back. I’ve missed your images. This so looks like snow. Thanks for sharing this one.

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Dang, this one caught my eye immediately in my email inbox. So nice. I was out today in similar conditions and feel a bit silly for not trying something similar. I’m not usually a fan of ICM but here it works nicely, for some reason. Lovely work!

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I really like the two directions…vertical and diagonal. Makes for a dynamic scene. And it’s really creative…sure looks like a blizzard to me!

Thank you all for the comments and kind words, @Phil_G , @Donna_Callais , @Matt_Payne , @Paul_Breitkreuz and @Mark_Muller. Much appreciated! And wow, thanks for the EP!

Phil, I’ve taken you suggestion and posted a rework. I actually felt the same way with my original and didn’t have any other iterations that included more at the bottom. So I created some room! Extended the canvas and some creative combinations of CA-clone, brushing, dodging, etcl, created a little extra space. Thanks for point out! I also added an “anti-vignett” to lighten the edges, hopefully adding to the feeling of a snow storm, or edging towards more high-key.

Thank you so much!

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Wow, this is outstanding. Love the sense of standing right smack in the midst of a snowstorm the camera movement provides with this one!

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This is so good and incredibly creative, Lon. Like you, I have been absent for a little while and I’m still in and out but happy to be back to see this one, Lon. I can’t image how you saw this from that barren original image. I don’t see any snow on the limbs so I’m not sure how you got this to look like a snowstorm but who cares. Phenomenal image. Thanks for sharing this one

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Way ahead of my PP abilities, but the result looks just great. Cheers

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This is so, so awesome, Lon! I love what you did to this woodland scene. I think I would have gone the same way in seeing the beauty but having to capture it with ICM. Except mine wouldn’t have turned out this good. I could definitely see this on a gallery wall. Really well done!

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Lon, I love high key images like this. Being from Minnesota, I understand the blizzard concept. The diagonal wind and snow are really effective. Wonderful image.

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This is an impressive use of ICM. The way the tones present in the scene have been converted to high key almost require a making off, so that we understand more of the movement the camera made during just that 1/4s. Did you start by pointing the camera at the patches of snow on the ground to give the predominance of white? And did you try desaturating until all traces of colour disappeared (different from black and white because of contrast), just to see how it would work?

My comments are on the repost.

I have no technical concerns, you have implemented and utilized the ICM technique in an excellent way. I really like your approach to apply ICM to simulate or mimick reality. I have never thought of using ICM in such a way – Have to try it out!

The brightness and the grayscale are very well chosen. The cropping and composition (after the rework) are impeccable.

The image really conveys the feeling of a cold and harsh weather during a snowstorm. You could almost feel the fear of someone being out in such conditions seeing this in front of them and being in doubt of which way is the way back home. At the same time, it is a very beautiful view!

I find your approach of using ICM to simulate another real reality than is in front of you in the field is very creative.

Hi Lon, it is great to see you posting and sharing your thoughts again. I sure have missed them!

I love your image and the feeling that it conveys. I believe what makes this image so successful and impactful is you had a clear idea and intent behind using the ICM technique. It wasn’t just about moving the camera around and seeing you what you get. You translated your experience and the scene through your own creative eyes using the technique.

Job well done on the rework too. The little bit of space at the bottom of the frame helps the image breath a little more.

Wow, thank you so much for all the comments and kind words, @rjWilner , @David_Haynes , @Phil_G , @Vanessa_Hill , @Larry_Greenbaum , @Ricardo_Salvo , @Ola_Jovall and @Alfredo_Mora .

Of course we can’t see or know what things will look like ahead of time, given the random nature of the ICM, however, over time you get to learn what motions and conditions can produce certain effects. So in a sense, while it’s quite random, there is actually purpose behind the technique - if that makes sense. Oh, and there was a dusting of snow on the banches - hard to see, but you’re right without the snow on the branches the result wouldn’t be the same.

Hey Phil - we all start somewhere and each of us continue learning. It’s amazing what I’ve learned here and from fellow 'togs.

Ricardo, thank you so much for your comment and question! Yes, the movement starts bottom - up, then just prior to the shutter closing you swipe diagonally away. One of the reasons most ICM’s take so many iterations - because of the timing. ie. You start the vertical swing BEFORE you click the shutter, so it’s “hit-or-miss” where the motion begins; which explains why the bottom is chopped off a bit. Regarding color, I’m pretty sure I did no desaturation. If anything I typically apply vibrance in ACR. I did not go b&w because I wanted to retain the brown/reds of the trees on the right. I think it adds a little richness to the scene - or I should say retains or captures the richness. So yes, tried b&w and it works well, but again, just not as rich (a word I can’t think of any better - and very poor English! ha ha)

Thank you Ola! I appreciate this comment very much because it helps validate the technique and that it has some value. I totally acknowledge that the technique is completely random… (anyone can do it…) Yet, it also can be shown to be very creative. It’s just another tool in the toolbox - and it’s just fun to see what can happen. And in some cases, with intention, rather than random luck.

And thank you @Alfredo_Mora for echoing the value of the technique. Most times it is random luck, but as I mentioned, one learns over time what scenes and conditions have the best potential.

Thank you all! I have a few more from this Yosemite trip, but alas, not as compelling! :slight_smile:

Spectacular. Nothing else to say. Thanks too for showing the scene so we can imagine the ICM options.

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This is absolutely amazing! It really sets the mood of being in a snowstorm perfectly! Thank you so much for showing the actual scene and especially explaining the camera movement! I never thought about swiping diagonally at the end of an exposure! This is such a brilliant idea!

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Well done!!

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Wow, thank you again for the continued comments! Much appreciated @Marylynne_Diggs , @Ronja and Great to see you chime in here Mr. @williamneill - Thank you!