Ice Patterns in Montreal (Canada)

The year that I took the featured photo we had a very cold and early winter here in eastern Canada. Everything was frozen solid by the end of November.

It was not until I was ready to publish the photo to my blog that I had a chance to check the date of when the photo was taken. To my surprise, I took the photo just before Christmas. As you can see, after almost a month of below-freezing temperatures, we had absolutely no snow.

When taking the photo, I concentrated on the ice patterns on the river. It does not happen often when the rivers and lakes are not covered with snow in Montreal in winter. I only later recognized the interesting contrast between the color of the ice (grey and blue) and the color of the grass (green and yellow). I made sure to emphasize the contrasting colors during the editing process.

The following night, we got the first snowstorm of the season and all the patterns and color contrast were gone.

Ice Patterns in Montreal (Canada) 1


It was too cold and I was too lazy to bring the tripod with me. I set the camera to Auto ISO and shot handheld. By using a wide-angle lens (10-24) with effective image stabilization, I safely shot at a slow shutter speed of 1/25

Editing & Processing

It was a single RAW processing workflow.

Lightroom (80%)

My first priority was to make sure the horizon was straight. I use the technique I described in-depth in this tutorial.

Next, in order to improve composition, I used the Crop Overlay tool to change the aspect ratio from the original 3 x 2 to 4x 3. I also cropped the image to make the composition tighter.

Photoshop (20%)

In Photoshop, I cleaned up the image with the help of the Stamp Tool. I also slightly boosted the contrast and vibration selectively and reduced noise.

Total time: 12min

Editing Transformation

Lightroom before and after editing transformation, from unedited RAW capture to the final JPEG version.

by Viktor Elizarov
I am a travel photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada, and a founder of PhotoTraces. I travel around the world and share my experiences here. Feel free to check my Travel Portfolio and download Free Lightroom Presets.

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