Monday, February 20, 2017

Ice Castles

On Saturday, my sister and I went up to see Ice Castles in Lincoln, New Hampshire. We'd both heard about the attraction and seen photos, but neither of us had been before. Between the fact that we're both avid photographers, it being Dad's birthday weekend (calling for an adventure and some very good food), and Dad's favorite restaurant being just down the road from Ice Castles, we decided that this was a good time to go see what the fuss was about.

A word to the wise: if you're going to go, plan to book your tickets online a week in advance, because they will likely be sold out at the gate if you just show up hoping for the best. We saw several parties turned away because they were hoping for standby tickets and there were none to be had.

The website warned us to dress warmly, leave our tripods at home, and wear shoes with good tread, all of which we did and were thankful to have had the advance warning. Next time we might go the extra step and bring ice grippers for our boots, because the surface was quite slick in places. What the website didn't say was that the space isn't quite as big as we expected, and it's quite crowded. We had planned to spend two or even three hours there around sunset to get both daytime and nighttime shots, but screeching children and the realization that getting good low-light shots would be more effort than it was worth meant that we called it quits after about an hour and drove up the Kank to catch the last of the sunset from one of the pull-offs up the mountain.

All in all, though, we had a good time and got some good shots. If we do it again next year, we'll get tickets for an earlier time slot, because the best shots came from the interplay of ice and light, and we were a little late in the day with our 3:30pm tickets to have as much time with that as we would have liked. We'd also hope for a colder day, because a few shots were very tricky to get without getting dripping water on our lenses. Click here for my photos, and I'm sure my sister will process and upload hers eventually, at which time I'll post a link.

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