“Ice on Whyte” is an annual winter festival in Edmonton celebrating Ice and Snow Carving. I’d been before, but this was the first time I went with a photo assignment in mind. I arrived with two major goals:
Shoot through the ice
Document the Festival/Tell a Story
The latter was fairly lofty, but is my major photography resolution for 2012. I want to take an editorial approach to my picture making and, especially, incorporate people into my scenes.
The day started north of the river at the Alberta Legislature grounds with my IACC friend Heather Kuchma. We arrived shortly before 10am when the gates opened. The sky was overcast so I shot with the idea of processing my images monochrome. There were very few people around at that time of day so it was easy to make pictures without worrying about getting in the way.
After getting our fill of snow and ice at the ledge we boarded the High Level Street Car and made our way to Whyte Avenue. Despite living in Edmonton most of my life, I’d never taken the ride above the bridge so that was a treat.
Wo, not so fast
The relative solace of the Legislature grounds was contrasted by the huddled masses taking in the activities on the south side. In addition to more sculptures there were Ice slides for the kids, stoves to warm hands and a Hot Chocolate tent to keep energy up.
Initially I was a little disappointed with the setting. The intimate environment and scope of the sculptures north of the river was more appealing. That all Changed when we spotted the carving area.
What a treat it was to get to watch the Artists at work. Maybe it was my own passion for wood burning and carving that drew me to my frozen contemporaries, but it was here that I really started to focus on capturing people.
Despite the relatively mild temperature, by mid afternoon we were in need for a warm up. The plan at the time was to warm up in the Farmer’s Market, then head home, perhaps to return in the evening. Fortunately the market made us hungry and after a quick meal the highlight of the day made its entrance.
Breaking the Ice
Normally this isn’t something we rugged Canadians long for, but it has been a dry winter and the site of frosty goodness re-energized me!
By the time we got back to the site the entire seen had changed. The dimming day light was replaced by area spotlights and gels to illuminate the scene. This combined with the falling snow made for some magical moments. It was hard NOT to find a shot to make!
See through the Ice
After filling our memory cards (side note: I learned that the unsung hero of my Nikon D7000 is having a second card to backup the master because my main card failed) we took the now standing room only street car back to the legislature to witness how dramatically the scene had changed. Monochrome was a distant memory as I embraced the vibrant color found in the refracted light.
By the time we made it home it had been a 12 hour day (I sure felt it the next day), but the memories will, hopefully, last a lifetime.
Hope you enjoy!
Snow Face A face carved in snow at the Alberta Legislature grounds
Siren A Siren carved in snow at the Alberta Legislature
Ice Ledge Panda sclupture on the Alberta Legislature grounds.
Tiger A snow carved tiger surveys the Ice sculptures at the Alberta Legislature
Twin Legislature Domes The Alberta Legislature building looks over it's ice carved likeness.
Ice Cells Detail of Ice carving
Snow Champion Victorious snow sculpture on the Alberta Legislature grounds
Ice flow Detail of an Ice Sculpture
Cobbled Ice Detail of an Ice sculpture
Snow Cathedral Church made of snow at Ice on Whyte
Ice Bunny Rabbit's head
Frozen Seal Sculpted seal ballancing an icy ball
Frozen lion Ice lion salutes the sky
Here comes the train Street car approaching the Legislature station
Jumping off Passengers disembark the street car
Winter ride Warm and happy inside the street car as it heads toward the High Level Bridge
Conductor Making the rounds on the High Level Street Car
Checking the schedule Street car conductor checks his schedule
Passengers Morning ride on the High Level Street Car
Ice Carver Artist Creating an Ice Sculpture
Ice Carver Artist carving an Ice sculpture
Surveying the scene Sculpter assessing his work before proceding
Chainsaw on Ice Ice carver uses a chainsaw
The carving place Overhead view of the carving area at the Ice on Whyte Festival
Love what you do The artist offers a smile during a break in work
Breaking the Ice Ice carvers use power tools to create wonderfully subtle detail at Ice on Whyte
Alien Carving Carvers prepare to make the final touches on an alien looking centipede
Making Wings An artist holds a intricately detailed wing for a butterfly sculpture
Little rake Ice carving tool
Warm and cut A clothes iron and chainsaw are tools of the trade in ice carving;
Ice grinder Carving detail into an Ice Sculpture
Chain Saw Cutting into the Ice
The wall The back of the ice slide resembles a fortress
Snowy onlookers At night, the carving area had the atmosphere of a concert
Posing at the ice table Family enjoying the the frozen table at Ice on Whyte
Ice slide Plenty of fun on the frozen slides at Ice on Whyte
The long ride Family members watch the long slide at Ice on Whyte
Wo, not so fast Child seems to be enjoying the ride more than mother.
Lost in the cracks A child behind the splintery ice of a sculpture at the Alberta Legislature
Warming up Outdoor stoves help to warm chilly fingers
Standing Room Only Passengers wait for the approaching street car
Waiting for the Train Whyte Avenue boarding platform
Snow Spot Flakes flow through a beam of light
Ice at the ledge. The Alberta Legislature portion of the Ice on Whyte festival
Picnic area Table and chairs made of ice
Ice lion Illuminated ice lion
Pet the goose Festival goer poses next to a goose carved in ice
Siren at night Siren carved in snow lit up at night
Magic wall A youngster touches the illuminate ice wall at the Alberta Legislature
Ice Columns Illuminated ice columns at the Alberta Legislature
Chinese lanterns Chines lanterns on the Alberta Legilature grounds
The sentinal Snow carving of a First Nations Chief at the Alberta Legislature
Twin Domes Illuminated The Alberta Legislature building and its icy clone lit illuminated
See through the Ice A child looks through the illuminated ice at the Alberta legislature
Illuminated Ice Detail of ice carving
Illuminated ice cells Detail of ice carving
Illuminated Ice crystals detail of ice sculpture
While I set up the shot on the left, Heather Kuchma of Images Alberta Camera Club documented the process. While I set up the shot on the left, Heather Kuchma of Images Alberta Camera Club documented the process.
I like to make pictures. Sometimes they move across the screen, sometimes they move you.
I draw with fire on wood, with my finger on a phone, with a keyboard and fancy filters and sometimes even with a pencil on paper. I use a camera to capture what I see and my imagination to capture what I can't see.