Creek side ice



I found this ice formation along a partially frozen stream last winter. The formation itself caught my eye and I attempted to isolate it against the flowing stream. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of detail in the ice which was difficult to fully appreciate with the naked eye or in camera.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Any and all.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any and all.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

This was a single shot taken with my Fuji X-T2, 100-400mm at 321mm, f/5.6, 1/30s.

1 Like

Welcome Dave. You’ve captured many interesting shapes and textures of the ice flow. Always an interesting subject.

First off welcome to NPN, Dave. This intimate landscape is a pretty cool find IMO. I love all the details in the ice; the upper section on the right reminds me of a beetle’s mandibles. I am also enjoying the light and dark shadows on the water as though they are drawing me toward a dark hole. My only suggestion would be a little crop from the top to get rid of some negative space. I hope you do not mind, but here is a rework with what I am thinking. I look forward to seeing more of your work as well as critiquing others.

Welcome, Dave! Cool photo - it feels like an alien being reaching out. I could see dodging the lights to bring out even more detail in the ice and the texture in the water (which is cool, also). Look forward to seeing more from you.

Thanks for the warm welcome to NPN!

@Ed_Lowe, thanks for the input on the crop. The image feels more balanced with your version. I have a sometimes unhealthy attachment to the square crop and can use a nudge now and again to see an image differently.

@Bonnie_Lampley, I did some quick experimenting dodging the ice and it does bring out more detail. I will take another pass at this image.

This is pretty cool, both literally and figuratively, it’s an excellent ice abstract image. I love doing ice abstracts myself, and am continually amazed how artistic Mother Nature can be when it comes to ice. While I like the highlights in the water (they are almost as interesting as the ice formation), I think the crop by @Ed_Lowe tightens things up nicely.

My only suggestion would be to dodge the highlights in the ice. I think it would add some sparkle and vitality to the ice, and give it some more texture. The highlights in the ice are specular, so I would not worry about them coming close to blowing out.

Here is a rework of @Ed_Lowe’s rework, reflecting my comments. To do this I used a TK Lights 2 luminosity mask and TK dodge layer. This increased the highlights without affecting the shadows.

Wow - great image. I never would have guessed this was ice at first glance.
My initial impression was that it was a horde of dung beetles in B&W highlighting the carapace iridescence. It does get you to stop and take a closer look.


Welcome to NPN - great to have you here and a terrific first post!

Seems like everyone’s first impression is that of some sort of creature or creatures - and I’m right there. It may be a stretch… but I’m reminded of the Star Trek Movie - I think the “Wrath of Kahn” when Chekhov revealed…“the put creatures in our bodies…” Sorry, I digress.

Great natural abstract and I really like the edits - both the crop and the increased luminosity giving the ice more depth and contrast.

Excellent capture. Thanks for sharing and we look forward to more images and your participation.


Thanks everyone for the input! @Patricia_Brundage @Ed_Lowe @Bonnie_Lampley @Ed_McGuirk @EJ_Jewett @Lon_Overacker

I added the latest version to the original post. You all have been instrumental in taking one of my favorite images to the next level. Much more impactful.

Thrilled that I stumbled onto NPN. I started my photography journey about ten months ago and this is the first time I have had an image critiqued. Great experience.

Fabulous job on the rework! You’re right, this one has been elevated to the next level. Well done!