East Greenland Part 4 – Aerial Glacier Photos (Podcast 542)

East Greenland Part 4 – Aerial Glacier Photos (Podcast 542)

This is the concluding episode of a four part series to share my experiences and ten more images from my recent East Greenland photography adventure, including what I think is some pretty special aerial glacier photos.

We finished part three after looking at a few aerial photographs from a chartered helicopter, and we’d landed in front of the Heim Glacier for 20 minutes, before taking off again, to do a swoop over the back of the glacier, giving us a view from above, as we can start to see in this first image for today (below).

The Heim Glacier from the Air

The Heim Glacier from the Air

As I mentioned at the end of last week’s episode, I had bumped my ISO to 800, and was shooting with between 1/1600 and 1/3200 of a second shutter speeds, to overcome the vibration of the helicopter. For this shot I was using my 24-70mm lens, at 31 mm, and was obviously attracted to the two pools of clear water in front of the glacier.

The other challenge when shooting from a helicopter is that you really have very little time to think about your composition, as the scene below you is changing all the time. I’m happy with these images, but I remember keeping every sense on high alert as I tried to decide on the next shot and capture each possible image with very little time.

Global Warming In Our Face

I got another few frames after this one as we climbed, but as I realized that we were soon going to be over the main Greenland glacier, I decided to switch to my 11-24mm lens, and boy am I glad I did. The detail from this next image might not come across in the Web version, but I believe these next few images (below) are some of the most important of my career so far.

The Greenland Main Glacial Shelf

The Greenland Main Glacial Shelf

I love the texture, and the relative simplicity of this shot, despite the detail that can be seen in each fissure when you look closely. The reason I think this is important though, is because Greenland is obviously very much in the spotlight when we talk about global warming, and unfortunately I don’t think this view is going to be there much longer.

Here is a screenshot from Google Maps (below) showing where I was over the glacier as I made the last image. This won’t mean much as it is, but note at this point how far down the fjord the glacier runs. Pretty much to the bottom, where the Johan Petersen Fjord meets the Sermilik Fjord.

Greenland Johan Petersen Fjord Glacier

Greenland Johan Petersen Fjord Glacier

As we swung around the back of the glacier though, I was even more happy to have switched to my 11-24mm lens, as it enabled me to shoot this photograph (below). This is looking down on the Heim and Kagtilerscorpia Glaciers. What I want to impress on you here though, is just how much the ice has receded.

Heim and Kagtilerscorpia Glaciers and Johan Petersen Fjords

Heim and Kagtilerscorpia Glaciers and Johan Petersen Fjords

I don’t know how old the satellite photos used by Google are for this part of the world, but I doubt they are all that old. Yet you can see that the glacier has now melted right up to the three pieces of land right next to the pin showing where I was when I made the previous photograph.

This to me is pretty shocking. I don’t know what lies further in land, beneath the main glacial shelf of Greenland, but at this rate, I don’t think we’ll have to wait many years to be able to see exactly what it looks like below there. I also hope that this kind of imagery will help people to realize that whatever the cause, global warming is real, and we are losing glaciers like this one at an alarming pace.

Berg from Above

The next photo I wanted to look at is as we flew over the Sermilik Fjord again, and I got a number of photographs of Icebergs that show their beautiful under water portions pretty well. There wasn’t time to use a polarizer filter, but as you can see from this image (below) there were some angles where there was no reflection on the surface of the water anyway, so we were afforded some beautiful views like this.

Iceberg from Above

Iceberg from Above

People often quote different ratios, but according to the laws of physics based on the density of ice, it is generally thought that only one-tenth of an iceberg is above water, leaving nine-tenths that are below the water. As we see this huge body of ice drawing down into the depths, it’s not hard to imagine just how much ice there is below the surface of the water.

Tiilerilaaq from the Air

In the previous episode, I talked about our visit to the settlement of Tillerilaaq, and this had taken us an entire morning to get to in our speedboat. By helicopter, it was less than 15 minutes away from Tasiilaq. In this photo, you can clearly see the tiny channel through which we’d traveled to get from the Ammassalik Fjord route we’d taken to Tiilerilaaq, and it was really nice to get this view of the settlement from above.

Tiilerilaaq from the Air - East Greenland

Tiilerilaaq from the Air – East Greenland

Blue Lake and Mountains Near Tasiilaq

Blue Lake and Mountains Near Tasiilaq

As we continued on, we passed over the mountains between the Sermilik Fjord and Tasiilaq, and got some great views of the mountains and lakes up there.

Here (right) is a lake that looks to have blue glacial meltwater as its source, almost iridescent in the sunlight shining on it between the broken cloud.

To keep my shutter speed high, I had been adjusting my aperture a lot, based on how high we were. Most of the previous images were shot at f/10 or f/11, and that gave me plenty of depth of field at the distance we were shooting from, and the wide aperture.

For this image, as we were even higher, I dropped down to f/8 at 24mm, for a 1/2000 of a second shutter speed, still at ISO 800. Everything from the nearest foreground to the distant mountains is in perfectly sharp focus.

A few minutes after this, we were over the bay at Tasiilaq, and before we knew it, landing at the heliport on the edge of town.

The helicopter is run by the brother of the owner of our hotel, and although they were a little reluctant at first to allow us to open and shoot through the windows, it all worked out really well.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I hadn’t flown in a helicopter until four years ago, when I had a whizz around Niagara Falls while I was in Canada for my 2012 Pixels 2 Pigment workshop, but since then, I’ve ridden in helicopters a few other times, over Tokyo at night, and then a total of three more times here in Greenland by the time we’d finished the tour. I think they are becoming more accessible as enterprising people build businesses around this sort of ride, and that’s a very welcome change, especially when we are allowed to open the windows etc.

After returning to the hotel, I quickly went through my photos, and was happy to see that they were all nice and sharp, and that I hadn’t wasted my money. I was also really happy with my decision to switch to the 11-24mm lens as we flew over the back of the glacier. In fact, I’m even happier that I decided to put it in my vest pocket, as I almost didn’t. Sometimes we make really bad decisions, and they sting like hell. The more we do this though, the more likely we are to make better decisions, and it’s great when they pay off like this.

Aurora Borealis

So, by this point, it was August 30, and we only had a couple more nights in Greenland. We had been keeping our eyes on the Aurora forecasts, and had a bit of a display the previous night, but with a better forecast for this night, we headed out again at about 11 pm, and were pretty happy to see some beautiful Aurora Borealis stretching across the entire sky. Here is a shot from a few minutes walk from the hotel (below).

Aurora Borealis Near Tasiilaq

Aurora Borealis Near Tasiilaq

For Aurora, as for most night sky photography I do, I generally set my lens to it’s widest aperture, f/4, and with an ISO of 3200, use a shutter speed of 20 seconds. If the Aurora gets brighter, I will try to reduce the shutter speed to 15 seconds, which ensures no movement in the stars, and then as it gets brighter still, I start to bring the ISO down. This shot was at my initial settings though, so f/4, 20 seconds at ISO 3200.

Unfortunately, it was really windy, so the lake nearby was not reflecting anything, and I honestly don’t think I could have scrambled down there in the dark anyway, but I’m happy enough with this shot. There were some beautiful patterns being made, and I like the touch of purple as well.

The next morning we headed out on a speedboat again, and spent a number of hours whale watching. I think we’d used up all of our luck by this point though, so although we saw a number of whales, we were not able to really get any good photos. Still, it was great to just be around them.

Afterwards, we headed over to the glacier that you can see in the distance in this next photograph (below), and then on to Kulusuk, which is the town near to the airport that we’d flown into from Reykjavik. The houses in Greenland seemed to follow pretty much the same pattern in the most part, which makes for nice photos I guess, as they are often either beautifully colored, or with the peeling paint, like the two in the foreground here.

Kulusuk

Kulusuk

This day was a bit of a mess logistically mind. The people that we’d organized the speed boat with forgot to buy our lunch, so they gave us money to buy something at Kulusuk. This means that we had to eat in the town, and one thing that doesn’t come across in my photos is that the towns are full of little flies that try to get into your eyes and ears, and are a real pain. It would have been much nicer if we could have eaten over by the glacier before coming to town.

The next hiccup was that when we got back to our boat, our driver had caught the propeller of the boat on the rocks in the bay, and broken the propeller clean off. He was a resourceful young chap though, and quickly organized a replacement boat and driver, who we would spend the rest of the day with.

We went back out into the open water south of Tasiilaq, and tried our luck at some whale photographs again. It didn’t work out photographically, but at one point a Fin Whale surfaced right near us, and actually called out. It was a magical moment. I couldn’t find any recordings on the Web that sounded like what we heard, but it was a long droning sound that we could feel through the water as much as audibly hear it.

I used to have a record of whale calls when I was a kid, and the hair on the back of my head would stand up when I listened to it. The memory of actually hearing a call like this in real life, bobbing around in a boat off the coast of Greenland, is one that will stay with me for the rest of my life, hopefully.

On our last night in Greenland, the Aurora gave us another display, which I captured this time with a nearby satellite dish, as I liked the space relationship (below). The dish was lit up by nearby lights, so I didn’t have to do any light painting or anything.

Aurora Borealis Near Tasiilaq

Aurora Borealis Near Tasiilaq

Again, the purple was beautiful, and more pronounced in this image, although I prefer the shape of my shot from the previous night over this one.

The following morning, as I opened the curtains in my room, there was a beautiful mist over the town of Tasiilaq and down into the bay, so I grabbed my camera, and went outside to get a few pre-breakfast images, before the mist cleared. The town isn’t as pretty from above as it is below, so here’s a shot of the bay with the few seemingly resident icebergs (below).

Icebergs in Mist at Tasiilaq

Icebergs in Mist at Tasiilaq

I shot this at 135 mm with my 100-400mm lens to isolate the mountain and bergs. As the sun made its way down into the bay, the mist quickly burned off, so I was happy to have got these last few images, as we were to leave for the heliport shortly after breakfast, to fly back to Iceland for one last dinner before we disbanded, completing the tour.

Greenland Portfolio

I am just completing putting together a portfolio of this Greenland work, which you will be able to see at https://mbp.ac/greenlandportfolio probably by the time I release this podcast post, so please do take a look if you have a minute. I’m also going to try to put together a slideshow video soon too, and I’ll let you know once that’s available.

Licensing My Greenland Images

If you would like to use any of my Greenland work commercially, you can license these and many more images from the trip from my OFFSET stock library.

Future Greenland Tours?

I’m sure you’re wondering if these Greenland tours are going to be a regular thing moving forward, but the answer right now is, I don’t know. We had an amazing time, but financially, this isn’t currently a viable tour, as we only had a few participants.

I went ahead with the tour, because I wanted to visit Greenland myself, but for basically seven days in Greenland it’s an expensive deal, and I don’t think people realized just how much they would be getting for their money, including of course flights from Iceland and the local helicopter from Kulusuk to Tasiilaq and speedboat transport on most days.

The other thing is that the speedboats were pretty rough some days. The boat we had for the first two days was the most comfortable, but that broke down, and we had one without any cushions on the seats the following day, and when you are slamming down on waves on a choppy sea, it was uncomfortable, bordering on dangerous, so I’d really like to see them get a better handle on the transport situation before organizing another trip.

Having said that, Greenland is an absolutely magical place, and I will go back. It has everything if not more in some ways than Antarctica, at a fraction of the price, so I don’t see how I’ll be able to stay away.

Let Us Know if You’d Like to Go!

If you would like to go to Greenland, drop me a line. I can certainly start to build a list of people that are interested, and set something up again if enough people are interested. You can contact me with our contact form which is linked to all pages on our web site. You can also subscribe to our Tour & Workshop Newsletters and we’ll let you know if we set up a future trip.

Opening for Complete Namibia Tour 2017

Before we finish, I’d also like to let you know that we have had one cancellation from our June 2017 Complete Namibia Tour, so if you would like to join me for that, take a look at the details here: https://mbp.ac/namibia

Complete Namibia Tour 2017

Complete Namibia Tour 2017

 


Show Notes

See Martin’s Greenland Portfolio here: https://mbp.ac/greenlandportfolio

License Martin’s Greenland images here: https://mbp.ac/offset

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.


East Greenland Part 3 – Breaching Whale Photos! (Podcast 541)

East Greenland Part 3 – Breaching Whale Photos! (Podcast 541)

Welcome to part three of a four part series to share my experiences and ten more images from my recent East Greenland photography adventure, including some breaching whale photos!

I’m now back in Tokyo having completed my Iceland Full Circle Tour with a great group, and I’ll be reporting on that and share some Iceland work with you in a couple of weeks. Today we’re going to continue this Greenland series, picking up the trail on the morning of August 29.

Shortly after leaving Tasiilaq, we encountered a number of humpback whales, and I shot this photo of the fluke as one of them dived (below). I always enjoy encounters with whales. It never ceases to amaze me how they let us get so close, like this.

Humpback Whale Fluking

Humpback Whale Fluking

I shot this at 234mm with my 100-400mm lens, and it’s uncropped so you can appreciate how close we get. If we were simply whale watching, we could actually get closer, and our speed boat drivers often tried to, but we need to keep a little more distance than they can get so that we get a nice background in the shot as well.

Tiilerilaaq

After this encounter, we continued on a long sail to a remote settlement known as Tiilerilaaq, as you can see in this photograph as we approached the town (below). It took us about 3 hours to get to Tiilerilaaq, including a few stops for the whales of course.

Tiilerilaaq - East Greenland

Tiilerilaaq – East Greenland

To get there we headed east out of Tasiilaq, then north-east up and traveled around one third of the way up the Ammassalik Fjord, then north-west along the Ikasagtivaq channel. At the end of the channel, we dog-leg left along a short channel to the settlement.

It was almost disappointing to see such modern boats moored here, but as you can imagine, these boats are very important to the Inuit people, so they tend push the boat out a bit when deciding on their rides (pardon the pun).

We climbed up onto the quay, and made lunch on a few palettes that were stacked there, then took a while to walk around the town. At about the farthest point we could walk, this house was surrounded by grass and the cotton grass, Eriophorum, which is found most commonly on Arctic tundra.

House in Tiilerilaaq

House in Tiilerilaaq

The foliage in Greenland seems to almost have a sense of urgency about it, trying to cram all that it needs to do into just the few short months of summer, before the harsh winter sets in again.

Sermilik Fjord

In the distance in this photograph, you can see the Sermilik Fjord which we’d sailed down earlier in the trip, and we continued to access through the tiny passage in the middle of this image shortly after I shot this. We of course took this opportunity to shoot more of the amazing icebergs, although we tended to be a little more particular now that we’d seen and photographed so many.

One thing that we like to do is to find icebergs with arches, such as the one in this image, and then try to find some supporting actors, like the berg that you can see in the distance through the arch, and the foreground berg, with much of its blue underwater portion visible (below).

Icebergs Near Takiseq

Icebergs Near Takiseq

This was near a tiny island called Takiseq, around a third of the distance that we’d travel down the Sermilik Fjord. Just along from here we also encountered the jagged iceberg that you can see in this next image (below).

Serrated Iceberg

Serrated Iceberg

We’d been shooting sunburst images with the sun just above the berg, but here I actually like the sky and the flare caused by the sun instead of the sunburst, and there is a bit of a sunburst in the reflection just left of center here, that I also find quite appealing.

Breaching Whales!

We continued to photograph the icebergs as we made our way down the fjord into open ocean, and started heading back towards Tasiilaq, when we had one of the most magical experiences of my life so far. We’d seen whales on this stretch of water a number of times so far, but at the end of this day, we saw them breaching in the distance, and tension on our boat instantly raised as we initially started to speed towards them, seeing two breach at the same time.

Then, our speed boat driver stopped, and let us know that the whales were coming towards us, and that we should just wait for them to swim past. Despite the whales being so far away when we first spotted them, in just a minute or so, they were close enough to the boat for me to capture this photograph (below) as one of them breached heading straight for us.

Breaching Humpback Whale - Front View

Breaching Humpback Whale – Front View

This is cropped slightly, and also rotated a little to straighten the horizon, but pretty much a full 50 megapixel photo, so I was incredibly happy to have captured this shot. We also have a cameo appearance from the seagull, kind of mirroring the flight of one of the largest mammals on the planet.

Just 38 second later, the whales were beside our boat, and I shot this image, of another humpback whale from this side this time (below). This is un-cropped, though rotated slightly to straighten the horizon, so the detail in this image is incredible.

Breaching Humpback Whale - Side View

Breaching Humpback Whale – Side View

I have some photos of the splash that follows these jumps, although as photos, they don’t mean much, because you can’t see the cause, but the splash that these huge animals make as they reenter the water was also an incredible sight to see. I have a few other shots of the breaching, but these two are my favorites, and I was absolutely over the moon to have not only witnessed this, but to have be able to capture a number of quality images as well.

The mental image of the two that breached together will haunt me for years to come, but I have no complaints with what I did capture. I recall spending hours in a Zodiac the Lemaire Channel in Antarctica in 2011, waiting and hoping to see, and maybe photograph, a whale breaching, then just as we had to leave to go back to the ship, our Zodiac driver told us that he’d just seen one breach behind us. This old ghost was exorcised by these new photographs. I guess now I just have to hope that one day I’ll capture a breaching pair to exorcise my new ghosts as well.

5Ds R Still Rocking It!

Before we move on, I’d also like to remind you of how happy I am with the performance of the Canon EOS 5Ds R cameras. Coupled with the 100-400mm Mark II lens in this case, the autofocus snapped straight on to these whales as they appeared from the water. If you keep in mind that we have no idea where they are going to pop-up as they breach like this, you can probably appreciate how difficult it could be to frame them quickly and achieve focus, but it was not a problem at all, for me at least.

So, when people try to pigeon hole the 5Ds as a landscape and still life camera, just point them to my Web site, and together we can hopefully continue to explode these myths, spread by people that are trying to find reasons not want this camera. If you don’t want or need the resolution, of course the new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is in many ways now a better camera, but I do wish people would just buy what they want and be happy with it, rather than putting down all other gear that they don’t want, in a strange war dance to protect their fragile egos.

Chartered Helicopter

The following day, we had a day off from the speed boats, and had a walk around Tasiilaq in the morning, then in the afternoon, another professional photographer that had been tagging along with us, and I, chartered a helicopter, on the understanding that we would be able to open the windows to shoot the landscape from the air.

I was initially going to only take one camera, with my 24-70mm lens on it, but before we left the hotel, I decide to also take my 100-400mm on a second 5Ds R, and I also slipped my 11-24mm lens into my vest pocket. We took off from the heliport in Tasiilaq and before we knew it, we’d flown over the mountains north-west of the town, and were flying over the Sermilak Fjord. This takes a couple of hours to get to buy boat, so it was surprising how quickly we got above this area.

This first aerial photograph that I want to share (below) is of an iceberg that we saw, with that amazing blue pool, almost looking like the eye of a fish, or a huge island, with a second island to the bottom right.

Iceberg with Blue Pool

Iceberg with Blue Pool

If you look carefully, you can just see the base of this iceberg receding into the water, but I have some other shots where the base is much brighter and more prominent, and I’ll share one of those with you in the concluding episode of this series next week.

Moments later, we were over the Hann Glacier, which we’d also sailed to earlier. We had moored on the little outcrop of land that you can see towards the bottom left corner of this image (below). The slot canyon style photo that I shared with you last week was from this location.

The Hann Glacier

The Hann Glacier

I had actually not liked any of the shots of the glacier itself from our previous visit, but seeing it from above like this gave a whole new look, and enabled me to put things into perfective, although I’ll share some shots next week of the main glacier that covers the huge expanse of the Greenland mainland.

We continued on and landed our helicopter across from the Heim Glacier, and had a quick walk down to the rocky shore, as you can see in this photograph (below). To the right of the Heim Glacier you can also see strands of the Kagtilersorpia Glacier.

The Heim and Kagtilerscorpia Glaciers

The Heim and Kagtilerscorpia Glaciers

I switched to my 11-24mm lens for this image, and shot this wide open at 11mm. This not only helps to show the expanse of the landscape, but gives the impression that all of the rocks on the beach are pointing inwards, and the same goes for the chunks of ice in the water, and the sky. They all seem to be pointing towards a central vanishing point, and I really like this look.

Shooting from a Helicopter

Before we wrap up, I just wanted to mention a tip for shooting from a helicopter, based on this experience. Just as I had been shooting at around a 1/500 of a second shutter speed to overcome the vibration and movement of our speed boat while on the water, in a helicopter there is much more vibration to overcome.

Because of this, I kept my shutter speed as high as possible for the aerial shots. I increased my ISO to 800, and shot between 1/1600 and 1/3200 of a second while in the air. The shots came out great, with no blurred images, despite hand-holding a 50 megapixel camera. I was very happy with the results, which was a relief, when you consider that this little excursion cost me about $900, but it was worth every penny.

We’ll continue to look at four more aerial photographs from this flight in the next episode, along with some Aurora shots among other things to wrap up this series. I hope you’ll tune in again next week.


Show Notes

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.


East Greenland Part 2 – Icebergs and Mountains (Podcast 540)

East Greenland Part 2 – Icebergs and Mountains (Podcast 540)

This week we continue with part two of a four part travelogue style series of episodes, to share my recent photography adventure in East Greenland with you.

On our third day in East Greenland, we headed west out of the bay at Tasiilaq, towards the Sermilik Fjord, which we would travel up around 20 kilometers, then hang a left into the Johan Petersen Fjord, to the Hann Glacier. The first photo that I wanted to take a look at today (below) was just south of the Ammassalik island, looking out towards open ocean.

Iceberg with Heavy Sky

Iceberg with Heavy Sky

I was attracted to this scene, first of course by the huge iceberg, but also by the heavy sky, in contrast to the brightly illuminated ice. I often like to go in close and show more detail in the berg, but here, I chose to go wide, to include more sky. As with the iceberg that we started part one of this series with, I still have a number of shots of this one in my final selection. An iceberg with character seems to almost demand more than one photograph.

Sermilik Fjord

The Sermilik Fjord is incredible. It’s very wide, and has lots of icebergs. You could spend a good day just shooting on this stretch of water. Here is one iceberg that we found with a nice archway in it (below). For this photograph, I used a circular polarizer filter to remove the reflection on the water, to make it look darker, but also to enable some of the blue of the base of the iceberg to show through.

Iceberg Archway

Iceberg Archway

Again, there’s that heavy sky still, which I like as a backdrop for these shots. We had clearer skies on some of the later days, which are good in their own way, but as with most of my photography, I generally prefer moody, heavy skies like this.

Here’s a somewhat self-indulgent shot next (below) to illustrate a point more than anything. This is me, drinking from a pool of water in the top of an iceberg, inside the Johan Petersen Fjord. This was a flat iceberg, that we could step onto from the front of our speedboat.

Martin Drinking Glacial Meltwater

Martin Drinking Glacial Meltwater

There was a thin film of ice over that pool of meltwater, which I broke to take a few mouthfuls, and I can tell you, that water tasted incredibly good. It was perhaps even thousands of years old, and totally pure. As for getting up on the iceberg, my partner for this tour Tim Vollmer assured me that when a native Inuit driver says it’s safe to walk on the ice, it’s safe to walk on the ice. 🙂

Just to the left of the scene in the previous photo, is the Hann Glacier, our goal for this day. In front of the Hann Glacier there is a little strip of rock that juts out into the fjord, and in that rock there are a few small crevices, such as the one you can see in this photo (below).

Greenlandic Slot Canyon

Greenlandic Slot Canyon

This was a fun shot, because it kind of resembles Slot Canyon, although I enhanced that feeling by shooting this at a very low angle with my 11-24mm f/4L lens, at 12mm. The glacier that you can see in the distance at the Bruckner Glacier, although it’s pretty small at 12mm.

The Hann Glacier is nice, but I don’t really have any photos that I’m happy to share. I actually have better ones from a helicopter ride later in the tour, which I’ll probably share later.

Stoklund Fjord

As we sped back down the Johan Petersen Fjord, heading home as we continued to photograph icebergs, we went past the mouth of the Stoklund Fjord, through which we got a beautiful view of the distant mountains, as you can see in this photograph (below).

The Stoklund Fjord and Distant Mountains

The Stoklund Fjord and Distant Mountains

As we tried to make good time, some of the images that we made were shot while going relatively fast on our speedboat, and I believe this was one of them. To ensure that my hand-held shots from a moving boat were sharp, most of the time I was using around 1/400 of a second shutter speed, as I did for this shot, and sometimes faster as necessary.

Something that always fascinates me, is how different an iceberg can look from various angles. I was initially attracted to this jagged iceberg (below) because of the slight similarity between the peaks of the iceberg, aligned with the peaks of the distant mountain.

Jagged Iceberg

Jagged Iceberg

Although you can see this texture in both images, I thought it was pretty interesting that from the side, this ‘berg took on a different appearance, and looked almost like a big blue swiss cheese, as we can see in the following image (below).

Swiss Cheese Iceberg

Swiss Cheese Iceberg

We also saw some icebergs that looked like a huge piece of ice shelf from one side, and when you go around the other side, they were completely hollowed out, with nothing in the middle but a blue pool. They can be a little bit deceptive these icebergs.

Back in the Sermilik Fjord, I shot this next photo (below) which I quite liked. This is one of those shots where I was trying to avoid showing the land either side, so I cropped in really tight on the left iceberg. I also like the reflection of the icebergs in this shot, and the repetition of the angle made by the left and center bergs.

Iceberg with Hole

Iceberg with Hole

Earlier that day, we’d hurried past an interesting iceberg, trying to make good time to our main goal for the day, but on the way back, with the light now actually much better, we stopped, and I was happy to have made this shot of what I consider to be a somewhat Monumental Iceberg (below).

Monumental Iceberg

Monumental Iceberg

This berg was big, but I accentuated its size by shooting with the 11-24mm lens at 21mm, making the closest part of the berg and those arches look bigger in comparison to the parts that are further away. The sun being just out of the frame to the right, also helped to bounce lots of blue-green light back up into the arches, which I thought added a nice touch.

Once we’d done a lap of the monumental iceberg, we really were out of time, although we were still a good 45 minutes from Tasiilaq, so our speedboat driver for the day took us at speed through a narrow gorge, which is a bit of a shortcut. We didn’t have time to stop, but I couldn’t resist shooting this last scene for today (below).

Ice Mountains - Rock Mountains

Ice Mountains – Rock Mountains

I loved the contrast between the cool ice and the warm colored mountains, also now with an almost totally clear blue sky. This is the blue that you could see creeping in to the top left of the previous image. In Japanese the word for iceberg is hyouzan (氷山) which literally means an ice mountain. I thought it was fun that these ice mountains were so close to their rocky cousins for this shot.

You could also be fooled into thinking that it was quite warm as we made this photograph, due to the warm tones of the rock. While the temperature ranges from around zero to 6°C, or 32 to 42°F, I’d estimate that the windchill from the speed that we travelled on our little speedboat, made it feel more like -10°C or 14°F. While we were stopped, even the low temperatures felt quite balmy, but at speed, it felt really cold.

OK, so we’ll wrap it up there for today. I’ll be back next week with part three, and another ten photos, and I hope you’ll join me again then.


Show Notes

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.