Feb. 15, 2019
Best of the States
Freeze frames: Resourceful, creative visuals of old-school ice harvesting
It doesn’t get much cooler than this.
Portland, Maine-based photographer Bob Bukaty’s captivating video and photos bring to life the 120-year-old tradition of ice harvesting, a process that yields ice used for cooling beverages at a New Hampshire summer resort. Using a variety of techniques, equipment, angles, reflections and vantage points, Bukaty took the readers onto the ice on Squam Lake in Holderness, N.H.
Concord correspondent Michael Casey originated the story and wrote the text, while East digital presentation editor Samantha Shotzbarger adapted Casey’s text story into an audio script, voiced by broadcast journalist Warren Levinson.
Bukaty spent most of a frigid day on the lake, using a GoPro camera in a waterproof housing to record the activity under and over the 13-inch-thick ice. He also recorded interviews of group members who used chain saws, ice picks and a massive sled-mounted saw to harvest the blocks of ice from the lake surface.
The striking visuals were the talk of newsrooms in New England and at New York headquarters. By week’s end the story had nearly 30,000 page views, and the video spent three days among AP’s top U.S. newsroom-ready videos – even while competing against State of the Union coverage.
For their story that generated national interest with compelling visuals, the team of Bukaty, Shotzbarger and Casey wins this week’s Best of the States.