The Music to Life Series

November 11, 2013 Ice – Conceptual Photography by Jimmy Bui Posted In: Sarah Mclachlan

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Music to Life Song of the Week: Ice by Sarah Mclachlan

For my conceptual photography, I love sad music. It just works. Sarah Mclachlan, one of my favorite singers and songwriters, is a pro when it comes to bleak and sad music. The song for today’s Music to life image, “Ice”, can be found on her album “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.” There is, however, another version of the song which is on her B-sides record, “The Freedom Sessions”. I love this version the most and it’s where I drew my inspiration for the picture below

The ice is thin come on dive in
underneath my lucid skin
The cold is lost, forgotten
Hours pass days pass time stands still
light gets dark and darkness fills
my secret heart forbidden…

conceptual photography fine art of woman sitting in boat in foggy ice water

Conceptual Photography – How it was Shot


When I shoot a foggy scene, I always try to shoot for the highlights. What I mean by that is that I expose for the highlights so that I can retain as much detail as possible. Later on in Adobe Lightroom, or Photoshop, I’ll raise the shadows and bring the detail back from the dark areas of the image. When shooting this way, you’re really limited to the dynamic range of whatever camera you’re using. Dynamic range is the range of detail in the shadows and highlights that a camera can record. I used the Canon 5D Mark III, which has decent dynamic range, and I was able to get this image.

The model wasn’t actually in the boat for this shot. Like I mentioned before in my other posts, sometimes it’s difficult to get people to certain areas, so it’s best to do the image as a composite. So the model and the background were shot separately and were later put together in Photoshop.

Play “Ice”

If you’re interested in purchasing a print, visit my online store today. Also, check out my previous image, “Of the Girl” in this post.If you’re interested in shooting a Music to Life series image, message me at and don’t forget to visit my website and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thank you so much! 


Ice by Sarah Mclachlan

Becky Reynolds

Canon 5D Mark III

Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art



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Jimmy Bui

I am a wedding and conceptual portrait photographer based in Southern California. When I'm not shooting weddings, or planning my next weekly photo for my Music to Life series, you may find me at Disneyland or the zoo spending time with my beautiful wife and daughter.
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