Author Topic: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019  (Read 279 times)

Řivind Třien

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Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« on: March 08, 2019, 06:42:14 »
After a pause last year due to economic disagreement with the owners of the old site, Ice Alaska (https://www.icealaska.org/) is back with a new location for the Fairbanks Ice Park at the Fairgrounds, hosting the 2019 World Ice Art Championships. For reference, all my posted images from previous years were contained in the following thread, which lists the latest years first: http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php/topic,5660.0.html. Some of the non-competitive exhibits were scaled down, but the new location looks good - all sculptures were located inside the same shaded forested area, which had the advantage of not requiring disturbing tarps in the background for the multi-block sculptures, and locations for the categories were mixed. All images were captured with my recently acquired D500, using Nikkor 12-24mm f/4, 55mm f/3.5 micro and 105 f/2.5 AIS and are presented in no particular order. As lighting was dominated by LEDs I only captured one image in infrared this year (not posted). This is going to be a bit image heavy.

Near the entrance Lady Climate Comes to Town greets us:
#1


The sometimes completely monocromatic light of the LEDs can be problematic. Especially the blue ones easily blow of the blue channel in the JPG preview but still looks dark, records nothing in the other channels, and can require extreme negative exposure compensation in post (-3-5 EV) together with 100% shadow recovery in order to not loose all the details. In this respect it was surprising how much compensation could still recover details - seems to be a lot of headroom in the blue channel of D500. Another photographer I met was carrying a small  flash directed upwards with a little forward facing reflector. His idea of adding a very small amount of white light might be something to consider next time (unfortunately my recently acquired SB-500 was not brought along).
#2



An encounter with nicer lady, Saree by Junichi Nakamura won 2nd place in the one person classic category. Images from this one came out better before it got completely dark, as the purple light otherwise became to strong.
#3



Riders and horses are a very popular subjects, Indian Warrior won the 5th place in the two person classic.
#4



War Path, Angelito Baban, John Flottman, Jeff Kaiser, Frederick Marquina won 1st place in multi block classic.
#5



Out of Reach - I really loved this octopus.
#6



The colors kept changing at very short intervals on this one this one and a number of other sculptures, which made long exposures at base ISO a bit challenging, but also presented opportunities for choice.
#7



We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat.
#8



Venomous, another troublesome blue channel subject.
#9



Final Touch, 5th place multi block classic.
#10



Fire Bird, 5th place 1 person classic.
#11



If Could Turn Back Time
#12



Sparring by Vitaliy Lednev, Evgenii Gorbunov, 2nd place two person classic.
#13



Hymn of the Arctic Forest II.
#14



Kaktovik Carcasse by Stephen Dean, Heather Brice, 4th place two person classic.
#15


 
Jump for the Ocean, 4th place multiblock classic.
#16



Influencing Our Collective Reality
#17



Simply Irresistible by Edvin Hutchinson, Austin Greenleaf, Don Lowing, Dean Murray, 3rd place multi block classic.
#18



Yes, I was certainly attracted to the beauty and theme of this one.  :)
#19



#20



The Cutest Dragon by Hiroaki Kimura, Junichi Nakamura, 1st place two person classic.
#21



The Joy in Korea.
#22



Valhalla by Steve Brice, Reverenc Butter, Dean De Maris, Burr "Buddy" Rasmussen, 2nd place multi block classic.
#23



As we leave we are guided by a walkway of lights with constantly changing colors.
#24



And two little Inuits in the kids section waves us goodbye.
#25



Řivind Třien

CS

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2019, 08:08:55 »
Wow!
Carl

Bent Hjarbo

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2019, 09:04:28 »

Akira

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2019, 10:03:56 »
I'm enjoying your annual reports of the ice festival, not only because of the sculptures but also of your presentations.  You don't disappoint.  Thank you for sharing!
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Erik Lund

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 10:29:54 »
Amazing ice work and very nicely interpreted ;) Thanks for sharing!


I respect that you have kept the images true like a documentary and I know these LED lights, it's really an impossible challenge to get 'right' since they are so difficult to capture for the sensor! I will recommend to try a B&W conversion of the images, leaves much more room for creative post processing and bringing out the detail becomes much easier and much more interesting.
Erik Lund

Řivind Třien

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2019, 13:11:32 »
Thanks Carl, Bent, Akira and Erik for the enthusiastic comments. The credit of course goes to the fantastic artists.

Erik, the sculptures are actually judged in white light, so what can be called "natural" or true here can certainly be discussed. For a number of the sculptures I have an average 5 different frames with different colors. In many cases it took 10 exposures to get a result I liked due to the fast switching. Your advice is actually quite good for some of the cases (when editing IR captures I often do a temporary de-saturation while adjusting tones). It worked pretty well on a different blue capture of Lady Climate Comes to Town, which would be closer to that during judging:

Řivind Třien

Erik Lund

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2019, 13:30:55 »
Good to hear you are aware of it :)


Yes that lady was one of them, and I would give her even more, clarity and or dehaze/contrast ;)
Erik Lund

Birna Rřrslett

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 13:42:25 »
Given its transient nature, the art achievements are even more remarkable. I wonder how long these works were in the making?

While I do understand the objections to the LED-based illumination and its associated issues, nonetheless the spectral colours do add to the 3D perception of these sculptures.

I'm already looking forward to the next year's report :D :D

Řivind Třien

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2019, 14:45:17 »
Erik, I replaced it with one with more contrast - you might need to refresh the cache for it to update. If I go too high on sharpening/clarity it becomes all flat.

Thanks for the comment Birna. There is certainly truth to the colors contributing depth. For instance in the one below, the horse rider would blend into the background without the colors. The artist only has 36 hours in the one person classic which makes it even more impressive. Two person classic have one more day (60 hours) to finish. The multi block classic allows 132 hours for teams to finish, and also can receive assistance with heavy machinery/lifting under ways opposed to the two other categories.

Samauri by Hiroaki Kimura, 3rd place one person classic.





Řivind Třien

Birna Rřrslett

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2019, 15:23:24 »
Upon hearing these short times available for the making of the sculptures, I am all amazement.

From where do they source all that required ice?

Erik Lund

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2019, 16:07:46 »
I really like the updated versions! Super 8)
Erik Lund

Bent Hjarbo

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2019, 17:39:55 »
The new B&W version is very good.
Thanks for sharing all the fine pictures.

John Geerts

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2019, 17:57:59 »
Very impressive again, Řivind.

Thanks for sharing.!

Fons Baerken

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2019, 18:05:56 »
Reply #5 maybe my favourite out of all the wonderful images.

Řivind Třien

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Re: Art for the Moment: Fairbanks Ice Festival 2019
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2019, 02:01:17 »

Thanks all of you for further comments. Birna, yes it is very impressive with respect to the time frame. The park is open to public while the carving goes on. Pictures are posted under ways from the different teams on the Ice Alaska site given in the beginning of this thread look under the Sculptures menu and also some live feed while it is going on. The artists have developed a number of different tools, for instance to apply certain structures to the ice and chainsaws are in frequent use.. They are all allowed to help each other to lift and maneuver blocks of ice, even in the one person event. May be I should get over there during the carving in the one person event next year. With respect to the source of the ice, the old site had a good sized pond without flow-though nearby on its property with very clear ice. All I could find about the new site was: "Ice Alaska has negotiated with a new property owner to harvest ice blocks and transport them to the new venue; the ice is so clear it is referred to as "arctic diamond". (from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Ice_Art_Championships )

The sculptures might not last too long, we are already seeing above freezing daytime temperatures even without the sun helping.
Řivind Třien