An iceberg’s past


Canadian Arctic The history of an iceberg is always etched into the ice. But rarely is hard evidence of it’s birth so glaringly obvious the way it is in this detail shot of a piece of ice.

As I’m sure you’ve heard me say, an iceberg starts of as a glacier. A glacier starts off as layers of snow building up over hundreds or thousands of years along the mountain side. The tremendous weight of the snow on itself squeezes air out of the compacting ice and it becomes more clear and blue. So imagine a massive glacier slowly moving down a mountain side, the deepest part of the glacier is grinding away at the mountain, carving out U shaped valleys and pulverizing rock into dirt and silt. The ice at the bottom of the glacier is underneath hundreds of meters of ice, thus it’s the clearest, but it will also be exposed to the rock and dirt. When the glacier finally dumps itself into the ocean these ancient pieces of ice will carry remnants of the mountain with it.

That’s what you’re looking at here. A piece of a glacier that was actively carving away at the mountain that has made it’s way across the canadian arctic.

Photographic details: I had to poke my camera through a dark hole in an iceberg to get this, so it was relatively dark. I couldn’t shoot like I normally do, I just stuck my arms out with my camera and hoped for the best. Yeah professional photographers blindly shoot and do guesswork too! I think I would have made it easier on myself if I used a higher ISO of 400 or so instead of 100.

1/50s f/5.6 ISO100 260mm

[button size="large" link="" linkTarget="_blank" color="blue"]Order Print through Smugmug[/button]

90 Degree iceberg


Canadian Arctic What am I talking about with this 90 degree iceberg? I’m not talking about temperature, I’m talking about angles.

Look at the striations on the iceberg, how the lines in the ice are going straight up and down. Those are the layers of snow that have been compacted into ice while this ice was still being formed on a mountainside as a glacier. Over hundreds, even thousands of years each layer of snow is piled on top of each other until the tremendous pressure compresses it into ice.

Because the ice normally stays more or less upright while it’s still a glacier, these lines should normally be horizontal. Once the glacier ends up dumping itself into the ocean the ice will bob around, melt, break apart, and in doing so this newly formed iceberg will rotate and change orientation. Thus the ice is now shifted 90 degrees from it’s original orientation.

Now go into my master collection of photos and look at every other iceberg and you will obsessively look at these striations and assess the history of the iceberg, you will never be able to unsee it, muahaha!

Photographic details: Nothing special is going on here for camera settings, I was more looking for unique and interesting shapes and this one caught my eye. Sometimes I don’t look at a subject as a whole and I just focus on the interesting detailed portions.

1/160s f/5.0 ISO50 170mm

[button size="large" link="" linkTarget="_blank" color="blue"]Order Print through Smugmug[/button]

Everything is now 50% off with the coupon: WELOVEWINTER