Winter Flume

This gorge in Franconia Notch New Hampshire is a popular tourist spot during the summer and fall. In fact there is even a boardwalk that bolts into the left cliff of the gorge that allows you to walk into the gorge along the stream that comes from a waterfall at the far end of the gorge. In the winter, the boardwalk is removed and this location becomes the domain of ice climbers, and a few hardy photographers. Using micro-spikes was the only way I got deep enough into the icy gorge to get a decent shot. The sides of the gorge are about 90 feet tall.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any critique/comment is welcome

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

I have never seen a winter image from The Flume so I am enjoying this scene very much, Ed. The bit of warmth in the rocks at the bottom of the gorge contrasts nicely with the snow and the ice encrusted right side wall is another wonderful element. I only have one minor suggestion; just a personal preference; would be a crop of about 1/3rd of the notch at the top to get rid of the bright area which looks like grey sky. How do you like your micro spikes? Just wondering because I was thinking of buying a pair.

Thank you for your comments Ed. I generally try to visit tourist spots like this in the off-season, it’s the only way to fly. I love my micro-spikes, I use them a lot and haven’t encountered many situations that they couldn’t handle. Here at the Flume there is a series of wooden steps that lead up the entrance of the gorge. These stairs were covered in 2 to 3 feet of ice and snow, and the micro-spikes were the only way I was getting up the stairs to obtain a better view.

Really nice image - I love the frozen ice and small waterfall , and thanks for mentioning dimension - hard to tell just from the image.

My first thought looking at the image was to wonder how you were able to get to this location in the first place. I see you’ve explained that…sounds like a bit of an adventure. I think it’s a very nice image that effectively conveys the power of winter. The ice is really something!

A beautiful and pristine winter wonderland. The place looks really wild (and I imagine it must have been scary to hike in there). The walls of the canyon are very impressive and like the way you have positioned the stream within the frame.

Great work!

This is beautiful, Ed. The comp. works well as framed and your processing looks excellent. Only thought would be to play around a bit with the icicles on the right wall. I might play with slightly accentuating the blue tones. I would also cool down those yellowish icicles.

@Sandy_Richards-Brown @Phil_Pogledich @Anil_Rao @Dave_Dillemuth, thank you very much for your comments, they are greatly appreciated.

@Dave_Dillemuth, I like your suggestion on working the blue sections of the ice. I had already done some of that, but your comment gives me confidence to go a little further. But I actually like the yellow ice (from tannins), and think it will create a nice color contrast against what will be even bluer ice on the right.

I like you composition Ed especially the lead in of the stream and rock under the snow.


I think this is wonderfully processed; I think you especially handled the snow very well.

I may be going against the grain, but I think it’s the overwhelming snow that is taking away from the overall impact of the gorge itself. I like the tease of the cascading water, but yet don’t get the bigger sense of water flowing down the bottom of the gorge. Also not getting the sense of scale and impressiveness of the location. (yikes, I must have gotten out of the wrong side of bed this morning…)