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“Abraham Lake Icescape” by Chip Phillips

Icescape and frozen bubbles, photograph taken on a frozen Abraham Lake near Banff National Park, Alberta Canada

Abraham Lake Icescape by Chip Phillips

Abraham Lake is one of my all time favorite places to photograph. It is located in the Canadian Rockies just outside of Banff National Park. Around late November the lake starts to freeze over and slowly becomes a photographers paradise. Using crampons for traction, I was able to walk out on the lake and capture this image without seriously injuring myself. These particular bubbles caught my attention as they had a very three-dimensional look to them. They traveled almost all the way down to the bottom of the lake!

The overcast conditions actually helped in this case, bringing out this 3D effect and accenting the deep blue color of the ice. I used various techniques in processing to further improve the contrast, including luminosity masks and localized contrast adjustments. I chose a slightly cooler white balance than as-shot to reflect the mood I experienced while out there on the ice. I shot this image with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 16-35mm F2.8L II wide angle lens and a polarizer. The image was shot at 17mm, ISO 50, F20 for 2 seconds. – Chip Phillips

Equipment and settings: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L zoom lens, optical polarizing filter – Two-second exposure at f/20, ISO 50

Techniques used are demonstrated in Chip’s image editing videos which are available here. This image is available as a print here. Follow Phillips’ work on Facebookand 500px. His portfolio can be seen at his website,, and he is a proud member of the PhotoCascadia team.