Frozen Jordan Pond


It was raining pretty hard as I made this last photograph of the morning, and as you can see, the sky was threatening to unleash even more. I hadn’t ever seen Jordan Pond while it was frozen, so despite the inclement weather, this was a treat. I used a 6-stop neutral density filter to hold back some of the light – my goal was to gain a long exposure time to try to render some movement in what were fast-moving clouds in the background above The Bubbles at the end of Jordan Pond. Mostly monochromatic originally, I tried converting the scene to black and white. Am still not sold on the composition, but I did like how the rocks in the foreground turned out in the colorless version.


24 thoughts on “Frozen Jordan Pond

    • David Patterson

      Thanks. It was raining pretty hard when I made these, but I liked the contrast between the fast moving dark clouds and the very peaceful foreground.

    • David Patterson

      Those clouds in the distance were moving very fast from left to right. In hindsight perhaps I shouldn’t have used as long of an exposure… maybe then there would be more definition in them. Though having said that, it does look kind of “ethereal” back there with the light coming from under the clouds.

  1. Interesting, I love black and white photography, but for this image I actually prefer the color version. I love the quiet, but emphatic, statement the green on the rock in the foreground makes, and how it leads your eye to the indent in the hills behind. I think the interplay of the orange red of the rocks, the greys and blacks of the ice, the hills and the sky, and the light wash of pink on the horizon is moody and fabulous.

    The b and w image is still strong, and I don’t have any problems with it per se, I just think the color one is the stronger of the two. Maybe, there is not enough tonal variation for the b and w one to work as well? For b and w images to work well, you need some variation in tones to get a sense of depth and richness. In this image all the darks are similar in intensity and all the lights are, too. This makes the b and w image seem flatter than the color image, somehow.

    And maybe it is the subtlety of the color in the color version that makes it more powerful to me? Just my 2 cents worth.

    • David Patterson

      Clare… thanks for the thoughtful comment. I hear you totally on the lack of tonal variety in this scene, and how that impacts its conversion to black and white. In person, the day was very monochromatic, and to be honest I didn’t even notice how strong the green was when making the photograph – perhaps because of the mood in person I was hoping that this would convert to a black and white better than it really does.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I really like both images. If I hadn’t seen the color image, I would have been very very happy to look at the b and w version. I was intrigued as to why I preferred the color one, then I was kind of thinking aloud (in writing), trying to analyze why that was … You have a great eye, and it is always a visual delight to see the images you post.

        • David Patterson

          Clare… I LOVE the feedback, so please don’t ever feel like you can’t “think out loud” – for me it’s all about learning, so your words are a big help.

  2. skerjanecm

    Meditative. Maybe BW even more. Maybe even more simple with only the big stone in the fron of the frame. Like it anyway…

  3. I like aspects of both the color and black and white. I really like the green on the rock in the foreground, and it would have been cool if the dark clouds had not obscured the little bit of evergreen tree cover that is on the “Bubbles” this time of year, then the greens would have balanced each other. That being said, in the b&w image the rocks help to lead your eye into the distance across the frozen lake. Considering the conditions you dealt with that morning, these are lovely.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Carol. I too like different aspects of each photograph, but in general, I’m not completely sold on either. The wide angle effect makes the greenery on the distant hillsides almost invisible, and the lack of detail in the background as compared to the foreground doesn’t sit well with me. Oh well… just have to keep practicing 🙂

  4. David, this is a bit difficult, both photos are great! But my favorite will be the first, because I like the colors of the rocks in the foreground in contrast to the almost monochromatic background.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Bob. I appreciate the thoughtful comment. I’m always amazed how social media offers a way to get so much feedback on my photographs.

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