Shooting Challenge: The Iceman Cometh

There's plenty of winter left to go. And for this week's Shooting Challenge, rather than complain about the chill, you're going to capture its essence and photograph, not fluffy, cheery snow, but its bad boy cousin: hard, sobering, unrelenting ice.

The Challenge

Photograph ice, in large or small quantities, nature or manmade (so that those of you in warmer climates can participate too). But note: we're looking specifically for ice, not just piles of snow. So a close-up of a snowflake's icy crystals would be OK, but a snow man would not. Any photo should feature ice with prominence as the subject.

The Example

Our lead shot was shared by Flickr member yellowcloud, described as "Super macro photographs of the bottom side of an ice plate that covered a frozen puddle." We'd love to see more macro submissions for this one if anyone has interest.

The Method

There's no hard and fast rule for ice photography, but here are a few links you may find beneficial, depending on what you're doing:

Weatherscapes has a beautiful tutorial specifically on photographing snow crystals.

Photos of the Year
published a piece with tips on both taking the shot and editing it later, suggesting polarizing filters coupled with a bit of post production can bring out interesting colors in the ice.

The Rules - READ THESE

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to contests@gizmodo.com, not me.
5. Include 800px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)

Send your best photo by Monday, January 10th at 8AM Eastern to contests@gizmodo.com with "Ice" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameIce.jpg (800px wide) and FirstnameLastnameFamilyIceWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

If you haven't seen it, my site Life, Panoramic has posted its Best Photos of 2010. It's a pretty fantastic collection that's definitely worth a peek.