The Wild Arctic Nature
In September 2013, I went on an Arctic nature and wildlife photography tour to Svalbard, Spitsbergen in Norway. The journey was to take photographs of the arctic wildlife, nature, and landscapes. As well the marine life like walruses, seals, whales, and many more. Indeed, we have been fortunate on our journey that we have seen 26 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) less in the pack ice at 83 degrees, for that more on the islands of Svalbard. On our way from Longyearbyen up to the pack ice with our boat. We were driving along the Svalbard archipelago. Occasionally we also came across many walruses, several seals, many whales that have been accompanied by white-beaked dolphins.
Far north, at 82 degrees hold the ice in the wild Arctic nature!
Somewhere in the wild arctic nature
Somewhere in the wild Arctic nature, a seagull flying along an enormous floating iceberg. With elegant moves, it operates along the silky iceberg wall, suddenly straight up the iceberg wall, gliding over the iceberg. The seagull gives here a great sense of the scale of the extent of this enormous bulk of ice! Until, the seagull was flying out of my viewfinder, it was gone.
I was looking for a good composition for this massive iceberg, but still, something missing in the scene. There it was again, the white seagull came back. Gliding from the left side, above the “smooth” enormous iceberg, parallel the ominous banding sky, to the right. A slight right turn, there was the white seagull, gliding, wings spread. Yes, that’s the one I wished for in this composition.
Do you see the seagull? It is a sense of scale, just perfect for this enormous iceberg. On the right-hand side, in the ominous banding sky, the gliding seagull, and nearly shining white with its wings spread. What skies we have seen far north were incredible. Arctic nature and its beauty are just breathtaking, beautiful, and impressive.
get sharp photographs from a moving boat or zodiac
That was taken more from a moving boat. What did I do to get sharp photographs from a moving boat or zodiac? In this particular photograph, I pressed myself against the railing to get a good hold of my body and to stable it better. This can help quite a lot when the boat is moving with the big waves. Try to keep yourself steady and push up a bit the speed of your camera!
Emotions are involved
Undoubtedly, emotions are involved when I take photographs, the feeling & thoughts I have, when I press the shutter button. It brought me back in my thoughts to the boat, to the scene, to the feelings. Feeling the cold, overwhelmed by the size of this lonely iceberg. My fingers were a bit numb of the cold. Seeing the acrobatic moves of this white seagull, along the wall of ice, then straight up, out of my composition. A bit disappointment set in, but more happiness when it came back as I wished for. But also some sad feelings came up.
Seeing this iceberg all “alone” on our long way up north to the pack ice at 82-83 degrees. Many thoughts kicked in about the Arctic and Antarctica ice declining so rapidly the last years, the climate change, threads for the marine life and wildlife. It was noticeable that something is missing in the Arctic and that something shouldn’t be there either.
I have seen on some beaches of the Svalbard Island on our tour, here and there trash or stranded broken fishing nets. On one island, we have stopped we could not even start to pick up the trash, it was to many items. I have also seen a rusted oil barrel, a yellow big plastic container, big foil, plastic bottles,…etc. This made me really think.
Just one sentence came in my mind: “Hold the ice!”
The Sense of scale photograph I have added to my top 2013 photographs post, of course, quite a few other wildlife and nature photographs.
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