Hold The Ice In The Wild Arctic Nature

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. 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, driving along the Svalbard archipelago we also came across many walruses, several seals, many whales which have been accompanied by white beaked dolphins.

Far north, at 82 degrees hold the ice in the wild Arctic nature!

Arctic nature picture of an iceberg floating in the arctic sea and seagull gliding over it.


Somewhere in the wild arctic nature a seagull flying along a very large floating iceberg. With elegant moves it flies along the silky iceberg wall, suddenly straight up the iceberg wall, gliding over the iceberg. The sense of scale, the seagull, gives here a great sense of scale of the extent of this enormous bulk of ice! The seagull flying out of my viewfinder, it was gone. I was looking for a good composition for this large 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” 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 the sense of scale, just perfect for this large enormous iceberg. On the right hand side, in the ominous banding sky, the gliding, and nearly shining white seagull with its wings spread. What skies we have seen far north were incredible, the Arctic nature and it’s beauty is just breathtaking.

This was taken more a moving boat. What did I do to get sharp photographs from a moving boat or zodiac? In this particular image, 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 a bit the speed of your camera!

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, than straight up, out of my composition. A bit disappointment set in, but more happiness when it came back, like 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 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 rest of 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 even 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!” 

Exif of this image above: 1 DX  Lens: 70-200mm, set to 200mm,  f/9.0  1/800  ISO 1000

The Sense of scale picture I have added to my top 2013 photographs post, of course quite a few other wildlife and nature photographs.

By Anette Mossbacher