Svalbard is not just about the wonderful and unique wildlife. The environment is different to so many of us, that you cannot but stare, open mouthed, at the vast land and seascapes which you will encounter on your trip there. It is both your starting and ending point on any trip into the Arctic from northern Europe. A place of safe harbour from the Arctic seas when they decide to throw your boat around a little more than you stomach can stand. Around the island, huge glaciers tower over you as they crack and groan on their snail-paced journey to the sea. Being in a small rubber Zodiac definitely adds to the menace of getting close to jagged ice that hangs off the face of the glaciers.
I have always wanted to photograph the sequence of a calving and watch the creation of a large iceberg. Technically it was not to difficult as I set up my camera to what I term, my action setting, then manually focused on the glacier front, placed the camera on my lap and waited for that thunderous crack which happens at point zero. We were close enough to the face so I wouldn’t loose time as the sound travelled towards us. The chunk of ice in the above sequence, was the size of a multi-storey apartment block and took a few seconds to break off and drop. After the images, came the rush of the swell created by the falling giant. The huge swell which radiated outward seemed like it would overpower the small zodiac. Thankfully we were far enough away, that it subsided on approach due to all the ice lying around in the water.
The, MS Origo, our home for the 10 day trip, is dwarfed by the sheer size of the medium sized glacier which goes back several miles up the slope. Even with a short lens, it is difficult to capture the expanse of ice.