Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: POLAR VORTEX

We've all heard. The Polar Vortex Part II: Vortex Returns is coming. And the best way to suffer through this frigid end of the world is to grab it by the snowballs and make some art.


The Challenge

Take a photo of snow and/or ice. You have now until Monday, January 27th, and any winter photo you've taken all season can be sent in!


The Technique

The biggest thing to keep in mind when photographing snow scenes is that snow is essentially a gigantic bounce board, capable of reflecting massive amounts of light to disappear into a blow-out. That's fine, as long as it's intentional. Otherwise, you should stop down, or consider taking your photo at another time of the day.

Here's a fantastic roundup of general winter photography tips. Here's another tutorial that has interesting tips for flash and exposure.

The Example

Our lead image is by flickr's CmdrGravy. I love its abstraction—as if it could just as easily be an image of stars in the night sky.


The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken some time in this winter season.
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, January 27th at 9AM Eastern to with "Winter" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameWinter.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameWinterWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include a recipe along with a story of your tradition in a few sentences.

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