We’ve all had it, that feeling of nothing to shoot, nothing to be seen and nothing to show for it. Same for me, until a friend in the MFF came up with the idea of going on the ice and shoot the warming huts. The warming huts is a traditional presentation of shelters where frozen skaters can warm up their bones (and other parts) before continuing on their skating journey.

Homey scene

The huts on the ice were not very warming, an alarming evolution that started a few years ago with huts that cooled you more than the driving wind on the ice.

So instead of showing and writing about (non) warming huts on the ice, I thought I’d simply shoot whatever presented itself. An apprentice paparazzo, so to speak. But since I am quite shy with people, I preferred to shoot objects and situations. Way safer and no questions asked.

Open for businessOpen for business

Activities on the ice were plenty, the “corral” that housed the alcoholic beverages (closable at will) was also built on the ice. Alcohol is one thing to keep you seemingly warm, although I think it is better to use it as a jumpstart than to use it as your unique source of heat on the ice.

Real heatReal heat

The other source of heat on the ice was real heat. Wood fires were placed at different spots so that you could warm, not only your bones, but your drinks as well. You just needed to be careful not to try and warm your mitts with your hands in them.

Enjoying a drinkEnjoying a drink

Sitting accommodation, on the other hand, was a bit sparse. My guess is that by the end of the activities on the ice, the furniture will also have been used as firewood. Come to think of it, it is probably the most economic way to get rid of your old furniture.

Ice fish(ing)Ice fish(ing)

Usually we have snow sculptures here in Winnipeg, but this year a few ice sculptures were present as well. That was a nice change as ice and sunlight can give really interesting results for a photographer. The above fish and bait was about the story of an ice fisherman that had to cut his line because the fish was too big for the hole he had bored in the ice. The fish decided to come on the surface and corroborate the story about its real size Smile.

Abstract iceAbstract ice

Up close, that same fish (or chunk of ice, if you prefer) can give an interesting light play. If I hadn’t seen this ice for myself I would never have guessed that this was a piece of sculpted ice.

Training chairTraining chair

Back on the ice, other people tried to use furniture for purposes it usually isn’t intended. You’d think. Someone had the idea of placing a good number of wooden chairs on skis on the ice for the kids to learn how to skate. That is how I learned to skate, a few hundred years ago.


But I never knew that this was also the way young people learn how to play Canada’s favourite game… Oh, well… after all I am still a foreigner in this country Winking smile.

The last thing I saw when I got back off the ice and on my way to Muddy Waters for a refreshing beer and a burger was some more…

You guessed it.


Game OnGame On

One thing you can definitely not say of this year’s ice amenities is that there are not enough places to sit, lie down or socialise. Although, again, I am not sure I would spend a whole evening with friends and beers on this type of furniture. It would keep it cool, though Smile.

Until next time…

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4 days 18 hours

Thanks :) !

4 days 21 hours

---Very nice Blog Henk - some nice shots there...-:)

9 days 15 hours

Presets can speed up your workflow a lot, provided you have plenty of the same type of pictures. People doing weddings will a ...

9 days 15 hours

Hi, I hadn't noticed that the typing colour was that dark... changed it to pure white, that should do it ... Henk

9 days 17 hours

I certainly agree the use of presets will discourage people learning their own methods but they can offer a shortcut to fulfi ...

30 days 15 hours

Well, I was told so by a "pro" that later recanted... :-) I removed the name, so at least it is now correct.

josie brendle
1 month

nice blog but sorry the horses are not Clydesdales. Those are a little bigger. :)

1 month 1 day

Test comment here

Henk Von Pickartz
1 month 1 day

This is a comment. I will see if this works or if this will be taken over by spammers. If so, then I will take it down again.