Every once in a while, the natural world can surprise us, inspire us with something unexpected and unique, particularly to the eyes of an artist. Such a moment came when I made my first visit to a specific alpine lake in Colorado, revered for its location amidst towering craggy spires and the stark reflections it can cast on a calm morning.
Arriving before sunrise, the undulating surface of ice, pockmarked with minuscule hills and valleys, at first seemed unusual but understandable. After wandering the lake, scouting for compositions, a rocky section of the shoreline revealed the amazingly unexplainable phenomenon that kept me returning for multiple shoots: ice waves, as if frozen in time, reflecting the landscape in sleek, twisted curves and ridges. The lines drew me in, laying on the ice to get a ground-level view, and reinforced my intent to create images that convey an unseen perspective.
Unplanned and unprepared, the only way I could shoot at truly ground level was to lie on the wavy ice and use any soft materials available (gloves, hat) to support and solidify the camera for multiple shots with varying focal planes that enable focus stacking to create an image with sharp focus from 6 inches away to infinity.
The experience of shooting these photos will likely keep me coming back to this spot as long as I live in Colorado.
About the author: Eric Gross is a Colorado-based photographer and “wanderer.” The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram. This project was also featured on Colossal.