111 Photographs Capture Glacier Calving

111 Photographs Capture Glacier Calving Combined Into A Video


111 photographs capture glacier calving at Nordenskiold Glacier at the Arctic archipelago Svalbard, Norway. The natural world, climate change and it’s power!

The story behind this project; 111 Photographs Capture Glacier Calving

Being always keen to capture a glacier calving, I finally got the opportunity. Every time when I had the chance to get closer to a glacier in the Arctic nature, I searched for glacier calving signs! What are the signs? Usually when you hear the sound, it’s like thunder. You hear this loud noise, it is already to late for you to see the ice falling from the glacier wall. Why is it than to late for you to see? You need to stay in a safe distance of the glacier walls, there are safety regulations. The sound takes it’s time to travel to where you are, meanwhile the ice falls already!

What I wanted, was to capture photographs from start up. Right when it begins, including the ice falling into the water until the Arctic sea calms down. A day after this glacier calving happened, I was fortunate to take some photographs of a zodiac from the University of Longyearbyen in Svalbard. This was perfect to show the scale of Nordenskiold Glacier calving site.

111 Photographs capture glacier calving, zodiac for scale at Nordenskiold glacier for scale at Svalbard, Norway

A day after the glacier calving, I was able to take this photograph for your scale. Professors of the University of Longyearbyen in zodiac. Keep in mind, the zodiac looks closer to the glacier wall as it actually is!


111 photographs capture glacier calving, ice wall breaks off and falls into Arctic sea with colossal water splash in Svalbard

One photo of the 111 photographs capturing the Nordenskiold glacier calving.

Photographer Equipment

      • Canon 1DX; EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II & 2x ext. III;
      • Camera settings for the photographs: f/11.0; 1/200sec; ISO 400; focal length 292.0mm;
      • Camera was set to 12 frames per second, but this is only achieved with a shutter speed of 1/1000sec ++ with manual focus and maximum aperture! I had mirror locked up for stability and camera on Gitzo tripod with RRS ballhead! Still the photographs shifted slightly when combined into a video. It was noticeable! The photographs needed to be aligned.


111 Photographs capture glacier calving combined to a video and edited with sound.

On assignment in Svalbard, I was sent for a few days to the Nordenskiold Glacier. While being there, seeing during the day the glacier calving quite often, I have recognised some before calving ‘signs’. What are these signs? What did I figure at this Nordenskiold glacier? When very few ice pieces falling from the glacier wall, some larger ice pieces will most likely follow or a colossal half wall will fall! I just had the camera set up on tripod, mirror locked not locked up yet. Remote control just ready, when it started within an eye blink. Pushing the remote control button twice. First to lock up mirror than to take the sequence in high speed. While all happened, I hoped that the memory card (the fastest available right now on market) was coping with downloading. While being in this area for a few days, I accomplished to capture 3 glacier calving in different ways.

How did I combine the 111 photographs?

The Gif contains the 111 photographs combined. The video has a two photographs added. One before and one after the glacier calving. The photographs I have added to show the scale of the ice wall falling into the sea. All Raw photographs were synchronised in Lightroom with all settings. In Adobe Photoshop each picture had to be aligned with all others. The aligning of all 111 photographs took several hours for Photoshop! In Photoshop the photograph processing was also more time consuming. Each photograph had to be processed the same way! It seemed that this project grew with the time bigger than I expected! For sure I enjoyed it very much. Made my experience with this, a dream came true and my client, which has sent me to Svalbard, is happy with the result of this little project on the side, I have assigned to myself.

How to:

From the 111 photographs capture glacier calving I processed one single photograph first. First in Lightroom than synchronised the settings to all 110 photographs. After that was this single photograph went into Adobe Photoshop for the rest of processing. The major part started to make the full Photoshop process from this one single photograph as simple and easy as possible. After all, 110 photographs needed to be the same processed. Well, a fast pace for processing all photographs, we forget this right away! I wanted to have it done nice! It took me 6-7 days for all 111 photographs to process in Photoshop, all the same. The whole project, processing of the photographs, aligning and converting to several videos in different sizes and a GIF, took about 1 1/2 – 2 weeks until the project was ready to go. The photos are aligned together, than combined to a video in iMovie. The GIF was done with Adobe Photoshop. All preparing, processing, aligning and photo stacking were done with the Softwares; Lightroom, Photoshop CC 2015 and iMovie. More info on ice calving.

Additional Information

About my camera gear I have written by now several post articles, why I switch to FujiFilm, whats is in my bag and what has the new FujiFilm X-H1 to offer.
My photographs can be purchased as stock photographs for any use and of course as photo prints for your home and office.