Shooting Challenge: Ice Filter

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

It's getting cold (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), that time of year when a single snow angel too many could turn any suburban lawn into Rainbow Valley. Rather than submit, let's celebrate the cold photographing through ice.

The Challenge

Take a photo through a semi-transparent sheet or block of ice.

The Technique

I have little doubt that those of you with a little ingenuity in the audience can create a true ice filter that screws into your lens. I can hardly imagine how badass such a creation would be.


But for the rest of us, there are a few solutions:
1. Find a sheet of ice in your environment, like a frozen-over car window, and take a photo.
2. Otherwise, a silicone mat - like one of those used for cookies - placed on a baking sheet, covered with water, and placed into a freezer, seems like it could work.
3. Check the comments where I'm sure some chemist is going to bring up properties of hydrogen bonding, freezing temperatures and clarity of ice.

Whatever technique you go with, don't be afraid to get creative with the results. And while winter is a drab, soulless time, there's no need to avoid color, light or action.


The Example

Our lead photo is by flickr's Anosmia. I like that, despite a lack of clarity, you can still make out the simple figures of the tree and the sun. In fact, there's an entire, small landscape in this murky photo if you look hard enough.


The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px 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)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, Dec 12th at 8AM Eastern to with "Ice Filter" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameIce.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameIceWallpaper.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!

Mark Wilson is the founder of Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.