It was an evening out on the water on Great Slave Lake. Imagine a body of water the size of one of the Great Lakes, but placed in the Sub-Arctic Canadian wilderness. We left Yellowknife (a town situated on the lake) during stormy weather. The waves were breaking and spraying over our heads and was quite an interesting site. Nothing in this shoot was planned. The guy on the right in the photo was a guest and really not in his element, but the guy on the left was totally at ease with the situation. My camera ended up getting quite wet, but since the waves were coming from behind me, the camera survived.
The intense boat shake made photography quite difficult. Another obstacle to getting the shot I wanted was that the water barely showed in the actual photos. I ended up using slow-sync flash to capture the water, and the results were dramatic improvements. Still, I feel that the intensity of the ice water smashing into us is not felt in the resulting image.
After much persuading from others to “get the photo out there”, it ended up winning in various contests where the image was submitted. However, I still feel this image is a total failure compared to what I was feeling and experiencing at the time. The noise of the water, the tremendous swells that lifted and tossed the boat around, lost in a photo that simply froze a moment. It is a very sedated version of reality.
I shot this image with a Nikon D200 with Nikkor 12-24mm zoom lens, set to its widest setting. Not much post-processing was done, just minor cropping.
Bio: Paul Vecsei is a fisheries biologist living in Yellowknife, Canada. He has traveled extensively throughout North America on fish-related work and has spent many years on the Great Lakes prior to moving North. He spends most of his free time doing underwater photography of coldwater species.