A broken piece of ice juts up into the sunset on a frozen prairie lake. Canon EOS 7D EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 at 20mm f/11 1/1000 ISO 400The cold hits your face like a physical force. You gasp and breathe in and the temperature of the air assaults your lungs. You take a couple of quick halting breaths and you begin to find your equilibrium. You are of course dressed for it but the cold is a force in nature that is relentless and inexorable. It finds the gaps in your clothing and begins to steal the heat away from you. You breathe deep now and find that your growing accustomed to the discomfort of the air in your lungs and you exhale in a cloud of water vapour in front of your face. Some of it begins to cling to your eyelashes and soon there will be small ice crystals hanging from each one. Sometimes, it is difficult to open your eyes all the way. You begin to walk and the polyester fabric of your jacket crinkles and rustles as you force it to move from it's cold stiffened position. You glance at the thermometer as you walk past the corner of the house. -37 degrees celsius.
It wasn't that cold when I took this picture, (maybe -15 or -20), but a I wanted a photograph that expressed some of the cruel beauty of our winters in Canada. The ice on this lake had shifted and cracked on to itself and pushed upwards into the air. It formed a wonderful counterpoint to the sunset as it fell across the lake. You have to be careful when backlighting a subject that it doesn't go really dark but luckily, in this case, the ice was translucent enough to let enough light through to preserve the detail in it's form. There were quite a few specks of dirt in the ice so I cloned them out in Aperture.