Snow Streaks, Barrier Lake

This is an image of Mount Baldy from the frozen surface of Barrier Lake in Kananaskis Country (Canadian Rockies). I’ve always enjoyed the image and have come back to it to make minor adjustments over time to my initial workup. I’m curious about how this strikes people…do you like it or not (be honest), does it feel natural enough, is there anything about the scene that doesn’t feel quite right? All comments are appreciated.

Beautiful contrast between the ice, the mountain, and the sky. I really like the warm color on the mountain. While it is possible this is an optical illusion, the horizon line at the base of the mountain looks like it is tilted a little to the right. I know these are very difficult adjustments unless you were there

Thanks David! I’m not sure about the horizon…I’m usually pretty careful with that, but I see what you mean. The shoreline undulates a bit and so I’m not sure if it’s a real tilt or not…I’ll go back to the original file and consider it. Mount Baldy itself has a bit of an odd lean (to the left) that may have caused me to overcompensate. I appreciate your comments.

Phil this is a really lovely image. The radial pattern of the wind streaked snow has a lot of impact for me. The warm and cool tones in the sky almost remind me of my old blue/yellow polarizing filter that I used to fool around with years ago in my film days, and I like the contrast of the warm and cool tones in the sky. I assume some of the warmth to the right was enhanced in post processing, and I’m okay with that. My only nit here is that the snow across the entire scene is a very pure white, yet with the kind of warm light in the sky I would expect to see some of that warmth in the snow as well, especially on the right side of the image. I would consider adding some warmth to the whites of the foreground snow on the right side of the image.

Thanks Ed! You’re right about the color on the RHS. Good point on the snow streaks. They were originally a bit warmer but the warmth added a bit of a discordant greenish hue to the ice. so I believe I recall cooling down the lower half of the frame in post. I’ll play around with local adjustments a bit.

Phil, I wonder what would this look like if you were to crop above the diagonal lines at the bottom of the image? The lines on their own are very interesting, but the real story to me is the mountain and the sky with the snow as a leading line to pay dirt. What do you think?

I’ll give it a try. Initially I thought it might make the image too close to square, but perhaps it could work. I’ve always wished the crossing lines were a bit higher in the frame, but it’s easier to have those thoughts at home than sitting in the field with the wind blowing in your face on a very cold afternoon


Beautiful and classic use of the lead-in lines. Not sure which way the wind is/was blowing… but regardless the eye gets led in to the frame beautifully.

I like the starkness of the monochromatic ice/snow blowing towards the mountain, vs. the warmth and color of the peak and sky.

No suggestions really, although by shaving a little off the top, more emphasis is brought to the patterns and lead-in feature of the ice. No biggie though.


I would have to say bring the warmth around the sky and right side of the mountain down a touch

Thanks Lon and Phil. Lon, the wind was blowing right at me. It’s hard to tell but if you look at a few of the spots where there’s a bit of snow on the ice, you can get a sense of the direction of the wind because of how the streamers form around those little obstacles.

I really like the image from the leading lines on the ice to the change in tones from the warmth on the right to the coolness on the left of the mountain. Not much to say that would make it better for me except maybe a slight crop from the top, those clouds are really nice but the “action” to me is in the ice leading in and the colors.

Thanks Hali. I’ll experiment with the crop suggestion.

Gorgeous and very dynamic image. Processing looks good although I agree with Ed on adding a touch of warmth to the highlights in the blowing snow.

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