Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing & photography

I have never been ice fishing. But if I was to go it would be inside one of these amazing huts! Truth be told I am not big into fishing even in warm weather. In my books stopping at a grocery store to pick-up your fish is easier and more enjoyable. But that is me.

Ice fishing hut, not your grandfather's hut
Ice fishing hut, not your grandfather’s hut
Tracks of all types
Tracks of all types

Getting out!

This past weekend with the slight break in the frigid temperatures I decided that I would head out. I wanted to see what I could find worth taking pictures of. There was a lot to shoot. It was not what I was expecting but there was a lot!

My first stop was at McQuillan Reservoir. In a very short walk I found a number of subjects to photograph. From the ice fishing tents, the animal tracks to some rabbits and a few birds it was a fun day. Cannot say that I got to walk very far as the slight breeze that was blowing was enough to make it painful to stay out. But with so many subjects to photograph I had to take pictures. It is also funny how after a number of days of clouds that a day of even a little sun makes being outside enjoyable.

I wonder who made these tracks?
I wonder who made these tracks?

Getting great images

If you think getting great images is hard to do in the summer when you are not shivering winter is even harder. The cold, the wind, the different lighting conditions all work towards making shooting a challenge.

So what to do to get great winter images?

Like I say over and over dress for it. Dress so you are comfortable. Go prepared. Think safety.

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BUT for taking the pictures themselves what should you watch out for?

Watch for shadows, they are a huge problem in the winter light. All those bare trees are casting shadows on everything. Keep an eye out that the shadows are not falling across part of your subject. This may require you to wait or even move so that the shadows are clear of the subject.

Rabbit hiding under a tree watching the people Ice Fishing
I think I know who!! This shot was exposed for the bunny by over exposing 1.67 stops

Watch your exposure. The snow is great for bouncing light around but it is so bright that your camera will want to underexpose any subject other than the snow. Many times I will set my exposure control to a stop over when I am shooting in the bright snow. This helps me to get more detail on the subject. If I am just photographing snow, like animal tracks, then I will underexpose a stop to bring out more detail in the snow.

McQuillan Reservoir, Coaldale Alberta, Ice Fishing
McQuillan Reservoir, Coaldale Alberta

Finally and maybe the most important – get out and shoot. Winter does not need to be a time to put the camera away. There are opportunities you just have to look for them!

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