Matt Conti  

Finding Love in Cold Places by Matt Conti

February 2021 - Finding Love in Cold Places

February 2021 - Matt Conti


About the Image(s)

It is February, the month of love. So, what better than finding a heart in the middle of Siberia? Believe it or not, the heart is not digitally added, but it truly is a gas bubble under the ice of Lake Baikal, taken last February. This was sunrise, about 5 degrees fahrenheit out on the ice in a section of 'clear ice' frozen down about 5 to 6 meters thick. In the summer when the ice melts, they say you can drop a penny and watch it sink for over a minute.

The photo is an HDR of 3 images with some color grading to try and balance the sky with the shadows around the ice. I used a very small aperture to get as much in focus as possible. Since the sunrise was already quite bright, I also brought the ISO down to 50. There is quite a bit of snow dust on the ice, some of which I removed, but otherwise, nothing was added to the image. I added a jpg of the original 'before' image to show what it looked like before editing.

Camera: Sony a7r3
Lens: Tamron 17-28mm f2.8
Focal Length: 21mm
Exposure: 1/100 sec at f / 18
ISO: 50

7 comments posted

Ian Cambourne   Ian Cambourne
Great use of the available elements in this image Matt. Superb depth by using foreground and background elements together with f18. Just in my humble opinion, I feel that the pinks are a little over done for me. While I acknowledge those colours do exist when the sun is low, it seems a little unnatural to me.   Posted: 02/09/2021 02:29:45

Janos Demeter   Janos Demeter
I was also on the Baikal last February and beginning of March. Maybe we even saw each other. Nice place and indeed a nice image. I like taking sunrises and sunsets, but so far I am not happy even with HDR-s, there is too much difference between the sun and all other parts of the image. I plan to try the graduated ND filters.   Posted: 02/13/2021 23:59:14
Matt Conti   Matt Conti
I remember seeing some of your Lake Baikal images from last year. I bet our vans crossed somewhere on the lake. Weren't we lucky to be out there before the world shutdown!   Posted: 02/16/2021 04:41:13

Debbie Bates   Debbie Bates
Beautiful images, unique to find the air bubble just in the right shape for Feb. Good catch. Great leading line into the image.   Posted: 02/14/2021 10:58:48

Dave Ficke   Dave Ficke
Matt -
Wow what a great shot and how fortunate to find a heart gas bubble - way cool.

I tend to agree that maybe a bit much on the pink but a stunning image!   Posted: 02/15/2021 17:32:54

Sherry Icardi   Sherry Icardi
I just love that heart bubble! And the image is is as unique as the heart. Like your leading lines (ice cracks spreading out are a fun way to lead into the horizon) and the sun low on the horizon. I would mute the pink a tad but that is your decision not mine!   Posted: 02/17/2021 13:47:59

Peter Cheung   Peter Cheung
Great capture and wonderful image. The bubble of heart is amazing, and the colors are beautiful. The composition after you cropped the image is beautiful also. I agree that the pink looks a little bit over done, but is still a stunning image.   Posted: 02/18/2021 01:08:23


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