1661 / 5000
19 February 2013 -- 50/365
Lincoln, Rhode Island
For today's photo, I headed to Lincoln Woods State Park hoping to find something interesting to capture. I was thinking along the lines of runners or walkers on the snow-covered trails, but with temperatures in the 40s and a rain storm moving in, I was not expecting to see anyone ice fishing. This has never been an overly popular hobby in Rhode Island. Further north, it's all the rage, and various lakes in New Hampshire look like shanty towns with all the huts, tents, and trucks parked on the ice. Not in Rhode Island where the season during which the ice is safe for travel is extremely short.
There are a couple of notes worth mentioning for this photo. When I arrived at the pond, the ice closest to shore did not look safe enough to risk walking out there with my camera. I'm not sure where these folks stepped onto the ice, but it definitely wasn't from where I was parked. I therefore shot this from shore. I used the 70-200 f/2.8L IS lens with the 2x Teleconverter, and this was hand-held at maximum zoom. The compression that generates makes it appear that they are almost on the opposite shore, when in fact they were almost smack in the middle of the pond. Part of the story I was trying to tell is how cold and forbidding this sport can be. For that reason, I chose to go with a very high contrast process and left off the sepia photo filter that normally tones it down a bit. I'm hoping the sharp contrast provides a feeling of cold, isolation, and loneliness. The final comment is about the positioning of the fishermen. I had several photos where the one standing was walking around and looking at the camera. I opted not to use any of those shots since they conveyed the exact opposite feeling I was trying to produce. To be clear, both fishermen were well aware of the photography being done and neither signaled any objections to the shots being taken.
Post processing started with a classic filter in Topaz B&W FX. I adjusted color sensitivity sliders followed by adaptive exposure, regions, boost black, boost white, and protect shadows. I added a brightness and contrast adjustment in PSE.