View Full Version : Lake Superior Ice Caves 2014

Jim Becia
9-Mar-2014, 13:06
If everyone will indulge me, I will show 10 images taken in Feb. of this year at the ice caves along the Lake Superior shoreline in northern Wisconsin. All of the images were taken on 8x10 film. In total, I took 16 sheets (at the ice caves) over the two trips. A couple were duplicates, in one someone walked into the scene, so other than two others I have not had the time to scan, this will give others an example of what some of the scuttlebutt is all about up in the frozen tundra! In retrospect, I think I would have had more success with my 5x7, but that is another discussion. Both days were overcast and very windy and cold. Sub zero temps with 20 to 30 mph winds. The one time with sun came as we were headed back to the car after 6 hours on the ice. And by that time, the people were out there in mass, and this was during a weekday. (One weekend day saw an estimated 11,000 people.) I learned a few good lessons about this area. If it ever happens again in the near future, I would recommend that one gets there as soon as the caves are open. That way the ice and formations are pristine. By the time I made it out there the second time (a few weeks later,) much of the ice was either damaged or dirty from the winds blowing a red sand/dirt over everything. Also, if you wait until afternoon to photograph (when the sun might provide some interesting lighting,) you will be fighting large crowds. Photographing in the extreme cold actually went fairly well. Had good mittens/gloves and my feet stayed warm until about 6 hours standing on ice, then they started to "cool off." Anyway, I'll post these in three separate groups. And if anyone has any questions or comments, let me know. The first four here were taken on my first trip in to the caves. Thanks

9-Mar-2014, 13:11
So far, so good! Happy to indulge you!

Edited to add: I am especially drawn to the second image of both groups.

Edited again to say that the last image is great! (shadows on the lake).

Jim Becia
9-Mar-2014, 13:13
Here is the second group. The first two in this group were taken on the second trip, while the third one was on the first trip.

Jim Becia
9-Mar-2014, 13:17
And the final group of images. The first two in this group were from the second trip, while the last one was from the first time. And while not of the ice caves, this was an image taken on the way back as the sun came out. I was shooting toward an island out in the lake and the shadows of the trees on the cliffs above were all pointing to it. So I figured they were telling me to take an image of it.

9-Mar-2014, 13:39
I'd like to indulge you, too.

I really like that gentle curve in the first group (fourth shot), plus the foamy agitation beneath.

Hope your tripod had skis so you could push your 8x10 along!

Peter De Smidt
9-Mar-2014, 14:59
Terrific job, Jim!

Doug Howk
9-Mar-2014, 15:01
Beautiful imagery. Numbers 2 & 7 are almost magical.
I've been too long away from such weather to even imagine photographing in it.

Jim Becia
10-Mar-2014, 09:13
Thanks for the comments.

Peter, you should have tried to get up there. It is something to see. Next time, if there is a next time, I will look at getting some kind of sled. I saw several people using these to haul their equipment into the area. Also gives you a place to sit and rest. I used trekking poles on the second trip in, and while not necessary, they certainly did not hurt.

10-Mar-2014, 09:38
I got a $12 concrete mixing tub from home depot and made some abs skis for it. Works very well for my 8x10 kit.

Mark Sawyer
10-Mar-2014, 10:00
Excellent work!

Peter De Smidt
10-Mar-2014, 10:42
I wanted to get up there, but I've been swamped with work.