My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

” A Chip Off The Old Block “

"Ice on Fire"

“Ice on Fire”

“Fire and Ice” was the name of the annual festival held on High Street in Mt. Holly, New Jersey. The fire in the title refers to a chili cook-off contest. I stayed immersed in the ice part of this, very crowded at times, event. This was my second year, with the first being very enlightening and the temps on the warm side… lots of melting. Opposite of last time, the temps were a perfect 19 degrees in the morning which steadily rose to a toasty 23 by noon.

The forming of a three-dimensional figure from a solid piece of ice was fascinating to this photographer. My challenge was to try and create an image with depth on a flat surface. That surface never wavered, whether viewed on the screen or in print format. These artists visually saw the figure they wanted to create within that one-dimensional surface. I watched in amazement at how a crude block of ice transformed into a glistening piece of art. The process seemed rough and loud at times because of the tools that were used, but the end product was well worth the wait.

On the shooting side, this year was just as challenging as the year before. For a photographer, bridging the gap between bright sunlight and deep shadows provided one heck of an exposure dilemma. I looked at it this way, take the risk and maybe come away with the reward. Getting in close was foremost on my mind. I wanted to show the grit and emotions of the artists and deliver that to the viewer. Mixing shots of what is around at an event, with the core of what is happening, fell into place for me. From the huskies and their smoldering eyes to the whimsy of the people around, I blended into the crowd. With the click of my ice-cold fingers, I began to capture frozen moments in time. I could only hope to bring as much depth and artistry, from around me, into my photographs. Each time I shoot an event or place I try to peel away the layers of what I see and feel. In this case, I developed a feeling of ‘oneness’ with the artist… both chipping away until we had created a body of work.

29 responses

  1. As usual, Mike, a great set of photographs that captures the essence of this event. I particularly like your black and white images of the artists at work.


    May 26, 2013 at 7:34 am

  2. Thanks for the recent comment. Happy Easter to you and your family.


    April 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm

  3. Very nice series showcasing the event, Mike. I especially like the carvers at work shots. You’ve really captured their emotions and by turning the images black & white made the feelings even more intense.

    So which was better? The chili or the ice sculpture? 😉


    April 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    • Definitely the ‘ice’…. those pesky b/w conversions can drive one mad. You never know which one will work. Thanks for looking them over.


      April 2, 2013 at 12:39 am

  4. It’s amazing how delicate the final sculptures are when they have been carved with power tools. You’ve captured the concentration of the artists – they look as though nothing could take them out of their world.


    March 31, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    • They sure do concentrate… as for the delicate part, just wait until the sun hits one :-0


      April 1, 2013 at 11:28 am

  5. Wow! Ice works on fire indeed. Amazing craftsmanship. Art that dazzles the eyes. What a talented bunch of people. Looks like a fun, festive and exciting day. Thanks for sharing this awesome event.


    February 24, 2013 at 8:25 am

    • Many people never get to see this cold weather event… I love to see what they can do from a single block of ice.


      March 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm

  6. This is amazing Mike.. so much personality, so much life in these pictures.. I love all of them.. 😀


    February 18, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    • Thanks Abby… this post connected me with the personal side so I think I will move to a lil more abstract for the next post… really appreciate the comment.


      February 19, 2013 at 1:51 am

  7. Great collection of shots – (santa was very cool..) The detailed image of the ice was fantastic


    February 16, 2013 at 9:25 am

    • Thanks Chas… its funny how many people are attracted to the ice abstract… really appreciate the feedback.


      February 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

  8. Really wonderful…. Love your exposes!! Just beautiful.


    February 16, 2013 at 1:21 am

    • Big thanks for the follow Fey… I see your bird shots and think one day I will grow up and be able to do that 🙂


      February 17, 2013 at 11:37 am

      • Hee…. Likewise, with your images!! It’s just timing. 🙂

        I was always following you, but I think I had a brief spaz-out and unfollowed you when I tried to *like* something.


        February 20, 2013 at 11:42 am

  9. A wonderful report and some clever prose. Big like.


    February 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    • Thanks Alessandro… might as well be clever at something 🙂


      February 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

  10. Beautiful!


    February 14, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    • Thanks Pat for stopping by.


      February 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

  11. Pat

    Wonderful series of photos!


    February 14, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    • Hi Pat… this shoot just lent itself to an essay type of post ….so glad you liked it.


      February 17, 2013 at 11:41 am

  12. Iwalani

    I love the way you’ve captured the carvers at work. Brilliant. And the dogs…surely melting hearts if not ice.


    February 14, 2013 at 2:45 am

    • Thanks Eva… those dogs were a kind of side trip… I just got lost in their faces… appreciate the visit.


      February 17, 2013 at 11:43 am

  13. Thanks for taking me there! A great story was told with the images. Chili cook-off and Ice sculptures? My kind of festival 🙂


    February 14, 2013 at 12:06 am

    • Glad to keep you in the loop…. sorry I missed the chili, it was soooo crowded down there… maybe next year.


      February 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

  14. Bonnie Rovere

    Nice work Mike! Love the title of the Main one!


    February 13, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    • Hey Bonnie…. great to see you back. You know me and titles, just can not put ice1 or guy 2 out there 🙂


      February 17, 2013 at 11:50 am

  15. Great photo work.


    February 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    • Thanks for the visit and comment Frank.


      February 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

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