Frigid Morning Haze at Sterling Beach

Lake Erie finally froze over this year.

Posted by Ruth Rittichier on Sat, 02/16/08 08:05
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Comments by Julie M. Dant on Sat, 02/16/08 08:18

Morning Ruth. What a beautiful, soft warm glow you've made the sun give the bare tree. This is scrumptious, Ruth! Thanks for the tips..on my post. ;0)

Comments by Jan Bjorklund on Sat, 02/16/08 08:21

Your photograph of the morning haze over Lake Erie just feels cold... perhaps sitting down on the bench would end up with the individual frozen in place. I like the beautiful quality of the light and especially how the light encapsulates the tree and makes the tree stand out even more strongly in the image. Does Lake Erie freeze over every winter?

Comments by Rick Longworth on Sat, 02/16/08 08:59

I love the insinuation of physical pain here. Vicariously.
My question is: to bench or not to bench. I could see the trees alone as another worthy comp.

Comments by Richard Dong on Sat, 02/16/08 09:07

Very nice. When was the last time lake Erie froze over?

Comments by Linda Frey on Sat, 02/16/08 09:17

It is a magical tree, with that glow of golden sunshine behind it. I like the bench. Gives a human element to the scene.

Comments by Steve Owen on Sat, 02/16/08 09:21

Excellent composition with wonderful golden glow. It sure looks cold!

Comments by Leo M. Johnson on Sat, 02/16/08 09:45

Looking at your very well composed photo, I know why we spend the cold Winter in Florida.

Comments by DebbiK on Sat, 02/16/08 12:59

I love the subtle glow from behind the tree and the sparseness of the scene which really drives home the idea of winter, cold, frigid, ice, etc...the snow covered bench anchors the image

Comments by Dave Geyer on Sat, 02/16/08 13:03

Warm light on a cold morning - well seen!

Comments by John Long on Sat, 02/16/08 13:14

Ruth - the quality of light coming through the tree and the tints of colour across the ice make this a memorable picture - and yes, leave the bench in for me please.

Comments by Maria Salvador on Sat, 02/16/08 13:53

Wonderfully simple. Love the golden sky. May be frigid, but surely beautiful!

Comments by Frank B on Sat, 02/16/08 15:02

Superb! I love the way the sun rising through the mist backlights the tree. The composition
is beautifully balanced with the tree and bench and the horizon is perfectly placed. The
colors are exquisite. Just wondrous!

Comments by Mark Rothwell on Sat, 02/16/08 15:49

Absolutely beautiful image! The simplicity of the excellent composition and perfect exposure really makes this one to remember for me

Comments by Rory Hudson on Sat, 02/16/08 16:16

Beautiful image that really evokes the feeling of cold and isolation. Love the colours and backlighting.

Comments by els mo on Sat, 02/16/08 18:06

Excellent! Warm & cold at the same time.
Would love to blend it with some texture.
; )

Comments by Ellen on Sat, 02/16/08 19:34

I agree with the others that this photograph has a temperature you can feel. The surreal glow behind the tree makes your eye notice the highlights on the edges of the bench-which is beautiful. The image is not bleak, but warm and vibrant in its calm.

Comments by Tommy McGee on Sat, 02/16/08 19:43

Ditto the accolades already penned. The composition would be great even without the sunlight burning through the fog. The sunlight creates a sense of anticipation of warmer weather when the bench won't be so lonely. I find it very interesting that even with the backlight you somehow managed to keep the shadow detail on the backside of the bench and in the tree trunk... even in front of the most central, brightest portion of light. I know you didn't use fill flash... another testament to your knowledgable use of PS, I suppose.

Comments by Pietro Cecchi on Sat, 02/16/08 19:49

what a beauty Ruth...:)

Comments by Michael Dreese on Sat, 02/16/08 21:55

Beautiful light and a very pleasing composition, very nice!

Comments by Ruth Rittichier on Sun, 02/17/08 11:43

Thanks for the positive feedback on this image.

Jan and Richard, Lake Erie usually freezes, and there is plenty of ice fishing, and the ice boats can be seen out on the lake. Every year some fool takes a pickup out on the ice too late in the season, and loses it. But it didn't freeze last year, so it's been a while.

Tommy, the snow reflects back onto the shadow areas, although I did lighten the bench somewhat.

Els, I like your suggestion about the texture, and will try it.

Comments by Tony Scheuhammer on Sun, 02/17/08 17:31

I like the placement of the 3 main elements - tree, rocks, bench; and that there are 3 rocks, repeating the theme of '3'. I also like the warm yellow glow, but it does strike me as a bit artificial because there seems to be none (or little) of it reflected in the snow.

Comments by Barry Dickieson on Sun, 02/17/08 17:36

Beautiful composition Ruth as so well stated in other comments

Comments by Tom Mallon on Sun, 02/17/08 22:39

Very nice picture, Ruth. I like the glow thru the fog, since it is only glow, it does not cast shafows or reflect off the snow!

Comments by Richard Dong on Sun, 02/17/08 22:47

Something very soothing about that yellowish sun...

Comments by John Wise on Sun, 02/17/08 23:48


Comments by Josiah Friberg on Mon, 02/18/08 10:44

Very nice. I like it a lot.

Comments by BruceMackh on Tue, 02/19/08 10:41

So, down here in New Orleans when its "COLD" it means I might have to double up and
wear two t-shirts or maybe even a sweatshirt--Heaven forbid! So, I'll embrace the notion
of frigid insomuch as it looks cold to me...but I'm only speaking of atmospheric conditions
here. There is a warmth, and I think its obviously due to sunlight...along with the other
warm hues and general feeling of "light."

Overall impact: Yes. in this manner I think its successful.

Composition: Yes, though I can hear the critique triage-ists ringing painfully in my head,
"what about all that space to the upper right? How would you characterize that space?"
God God I hate those folks. It works via the interpretive a feeling of
loneliness and isolation "to me." In any event, it certainly is aestheticized.

Technical: Sure, absolutely well done.

So, I stat thinking about all the ways it could be printed and I continue to land on some
thoughts surrounding nice, thick, ever so slightly textured paper...with a three to four inch
border on the paper surrounding the image, hung open in a pickled finished frame, no
glass, open so that one can not only experience the image "face to face" so to speak, but
also feel the texture as it would lend experience to the landscape.

It looks a bit commercial--like it "could" (though not should) be surrounded by a big black
border on really shiny paper with some of that motivational jargon sprawled out beneath
it. I really hate those posters!

Yes, you'd have to be careful with presentation. Done wrong it would be perfectly at home
in a doctor's or dentist's office as just another example of cloying kitsch that makes you
want to go into diabetic coma. Maybe a bathroom know the kind... You buy
them at the mall in those poster stores next to the hairdresser or nail-painting outfit.

Done right, almost...well, almost...anywhere else!

Comments by les perry on Tue, 02/19/08 14:09

Nice indeed.

Want to sit on that bench and watch the sunrise.

Comments by Cynthia on Tue, 02/19/08 23:00

While I cannot say that I wish to sit on that bench in the scene (sat on one too many with snow on it to wish it again), I am pleased with this image. There is an intangible feeling that I wish I could articulate properly, but I can surmise by saying the warmth of the sunny glow juxtaposed with the cool of snow/ice is quite appealing.

I agree with Bruce that the warm glow does not add to my perception of "frigidity," however if it was truly a cold image, the feeling with which I would walk away would be quite different from the feeling of peaceful reverence for nature that I currently hold.

Though I do not like photo manipulation to take the place of good honest camera work on ordinary occasions, the manipulation to lighten the bench was both specific and improved upon your image without destroying the image's original truth, which is all too frequently disregarded.

All of that said, I applaud your capturing of the beauty of nature. I would only challenge (in an intellectual, non-argumentative style) you to make a similar image, but capture the essence of "frigid." If the sky did not hold the same warm tones, would the bench appear as welcoming? I would enjoy to see an alternative version - perhaps if you choose to return to the scene. The title, I feel, would fit better if the scene was absent of all color but the cool ranges; again, this would create an entirely different atmosphere, one that you did not intend.

Comments by JP Zorn on Tue, 02/19/08 23:29

the title again.

Comments by Erica Weil on Thu, 02/21/08 11:26

You have created a very nice shot. It is well balanced with good composition. It is a bit simple, but I think that is what you were going for. It evokes a sense of warmth and loneliness at the same time.
It is lacking a little bit more of a visual interest but I think it is a successful image.

Comments by Christopher Azzopardi on Thu, 02/21/08 11:51

A well seen photo. I like everything about this photo. Well done!

Comments by Jason D. Miller on Thu, 02/21/08 21:33

I like the feel. Nice composition. Effective.

Comments by Tess Bicak on Fri, 02/22/08 22:03

It creates a sense of tranquility. After a few years of being down South (I'm originally from
Chicago) and escaping the cruel winters of the North, the warmth in this image makes me
want to bear the cold, sit awhile, and ponder.

I agree with the others that you successfully bring warmth to a normally frigid scene. You
also manage to take a simple setting and add weight to it with the light manipulation.
Again, like Erica said, it is a simple, yet well-balanced composition.

Props to you for making me miss the cold, it's not very often that happens!

Comments by Sharan Jay on Tue, 10/16/12 11:05


Comments by Ernest Cadegan on Tue, 10/16/12 11:37

Lovely indeed.

Comments by S Roter on Tue, 10/16/12 13:50

Had to check I was still on PC, such activity, for good reason, a
beautiful image Ruth congrats.