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 its power!

The story behind this project; 111 Photographs Capture Glacier Calving

Being always keen to capture a glacier calving, I finally got the opportunity. Whenever I had the chance to get closer to a glacier in the Arctic nature, I searched for glacier calving signs! What are the symptoms? Usually, when you hear the sound, it’s like thunder. You hear this loud noise. Indeed, it is already too late for you to see the ice falling from the glacier wall. The sound travels over a long distance, but the happening started already before the sound reaches you. There are safety regulations in place. In fact, it would be best if you stayed at a safe distance of the glacier walls. Undoubtedly, it would be dangerous for you to be to close.

What I wanted was to capture photographs from the start. Right when it begins, including the ice falling into the water until the Arctic sea calms down. Furthermore, a day after this glacier calving happened, I was fortunate to take some photographs. That was perfect for showing the scale of the Nordenskiold Glacier calving site.

A day after glacier calving, I was able to take this photograph for you to see the scale. Keep in mind. As can be seen, the zodiac looks closer to the glacier wall as it is!

That is 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; 1/2000sec; ISO 400; focal length 292.0mm;
  • Setting the camera to 12 frames per second. As well as the mirror locked up for stability and camera on the Gitzo tripod with RRS ball head! Still, the photographs shifted a bit when combined into a video. Undoubtedly, it was noticeable! Aligning the photographs helped.

111 Photographs capture glacier calving combined to a video and edited with sound. That is also available as a Gif.

On assignment in Svalbard, I went for a few days to the Nordenskiold Glacier. While being there, seeing during the day the glacier calving quite often, I have recognized some before calving ‘signs’. What are these signs? What did I figure at this Nordenskiold glacier? When very few ice pieces are falling from the glacier wall, some larger ice pieces will most likely follow. Indeed, sometimes even an enormous piece will fall!

I just had the camera set up on the tripod, mirror not locked up yet. Remote control just ready when it started within an eye blink. I was pushing the remote control button twice. First, to lock up the mirror than to take the sequence at high speed. While all happened, I hoped that the memory card (the fastest available on the market) was coping with downloading.

While being in this area for a few days, I accomplished to capture three glacier calving in different ways.

How did I combine the 111 photographs?

Indeed, the Gif contains the 111 photographs combined. The video has two photos 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. Undoubtedly, all Raw photos synchronizing in Lightroom with all settings was a must. In Adobe Photoshop, each picture needed aligning with all others. The aligning of all 111 photographs took several hours for Photoshop! In Photoshop, the photograph processing was also more time-consuming. Particular processing each photograph the same way. It seemed that this project grew with the time longer than I expected! For sure I enjoyed it very much. My client is happy with the result of this small project; I assigned myself.

How to:

From the 111 photographs capture glacier calving, I processed one single photograph first. First in Lightroom, then synchronized the settings to all 110 photographs. After that this single photograph went into Adobe Photoshop for the rest of the processing.

The major part started to make the full Photoshop process from one single photograph easy. After all, 110 photos processing the same way was a must. Well, at a fast pace for processing all photos, we forget this right away! I wanted to have it done nicely! It took me 6-7 days for all 111 photographs to process in Photoshop, all the same. The whole project took about 1 1/2 – 2 weeks until it was ready to go. Processing of the photos, aligning and converting to several videos in different sizes and a GIF. Indeed, it was a lot of work.

In Summery

The photos are aligned together than combined into a video in iMovie. The GIF I produced with Adobe Photoshop. For all preparing, processing, aligning and photo stacking, I used Lightroom, Photoshop CC 2015, and iMovie. Discover more info on ice calving.

Additional Information:

From time to time I write about my camera gear. By now I have written several post articles, why I switched to FujiFilm, what is in my bag, and what has the new FujiFilm X-H1 to offer. More stories from Svalbard you will find in my blog posts.
My photographs you can purchase as stock photographs also photographic prints for your home and office.

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