Ice Hut Photography Series by Richard Johnson


Ice Hut Photography Series

Ice huts, as they are generally named, are fishing shelters that are created at Canadian lakes when temperature is below freezing point. Richard Johnson (1957-2021), a Canadian architectural photographer, created a great photography series of these compositions. In fact, Johnson’s first encounter with these designs was in the winter of 2006. “I decided to get out and investigate further. The logical starting point was just north of my home in Toronto, Lake Simcoe“.


This trip was repeated several times to identify the conditions on which this scene can be shot. “Out of 52 weeks, there are only 3 weeks of possible shooting in many locations given my restrictions for continuity“. Ice Villages, Ice Huts and the Ice Hut Grids are series of this theme. “It seems that every year I peel away another layer about the culture, the people, the regional architectural requirements that make ice fishing a quirky yet popular winter phenomenon” he explained.


[…] an ice fishing hut is the most fundamental expression of architecture. It is designed and built by the owner and it is transportable. It is shelter with a hole in the floor serving a common purpose.” Johnson had described in an older interview. “Yet with a similar list of design criteria each one is uniquely different; a testament to the owner’s personality“. The audience on these areas, being traveler or tourist, is remarkable.


Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson was a photographer who focused on architecture. A 25 year career depicted several architectural a series. His photography is included in celebrated corporate collections such as TD Bank in Toronto, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, McCarthy Tetrault, Aviva Insurance and Foreign Affairs Canada, where numerous Ice Huts and Ice Villages are exhibited in Canadian Embassies. The result on the Ice Hut series is impressive. Enjoy.