Ice and fire ...
Of the shots I've posted this is my favorite. I uploaded another version in January. I decided to try to process it again in FDR tools which is an excellent HDR software. It's quite different from Photomatix and doesn't offer the same artistic freedom. But it renders sharp images.
I somewhere heard that in photography it's important to consider what each image should be about. Of course most photographers either conciously or unconciously try to make images about a certain idea that they have in their mind. They may have set out on a photohunt to realize that idea or the idea might have been inspired by something they came across. This image is about the beautiful curved shapes in the snow. When I shot this I had been looking for something in the snow that would make an image for a few weeks. And there I found it. The lid up steam and the houses in the distance are just a bonus.
This is a HDR from 3 exposures 2 stops apart. The photoshop work was minimal. Dust and scratches to the sky to remove noise. Curves, levels and selective color to warm up the steam. Then a little doge and burn to further bring out the forms in the snow. The vignette was not added digitally.