How do you photograph a 2 km wide glacier snout when there are no boats for miles around and nothing to provide scale? Pretty difficult! All I can tell you to help try and convey the overwhelming experience of seeing a glacier terminal close up, is to point out that the peak on the left is 1,400 metres high (about 4,600 ft), and if there were any boats in front of the glacier, I doubt you would be able to see them in this picture because they would be too small.
I calculated from the dimensions of this photograph that as the glacier is 2,000 metres wide (if my map is correct) then the height of the glacier above the water level is about 50 metres (over 210 feet).
I took many close-ups of the glacier snout, but they seem to convey even less of the scale of the glacier than this photograph (I have posted one to the Workshop here so please see if you agree with me).
This photograph was taken about 2 km from the glacier, from the middle of the Sermiligao fjord, as we were speeding towards it in our seal hunting boat – but even then I had to use a 12 mm lens to get it all in. The clear air in Greenland makes everything look much closer than it is, and the magnificent scale of the scenery makes everything look smaller than it is.
The Knud Rasmussen glacier is one of two glaciers that are actively calving icebergs into this fjord. Like most glaciers in Greenland, it is slowly receding, but this is not a new phenomenon. New research published by the University of Aarhus last year suggests that glaciers in Greenland have been receding for more than 100 years. It is possible that global warming, and the increases in temperatures that have been recorded in Greenland since the mid-1990s might accelerate that recession, but researchers say it is too early to register the effects of the current global warming on the movement of glaciers. The average recession of the glaciers studied by the researchers was calculated at 8 metres a year since 1953.
There is also another glacier called Knud Rasmussen in north-west Greenland (Sermiligao is in eastern Greenland), but that one is about half the size of this one. The glaciers are named after a Danish-Inuit explorer who between 1912 and 1931 undertook six expeditions across Greenland gathering ethnographic data and mapping parts of the island which had not been previously explored.
Critiques | Translate
vero07 (1781) 2007-07-17 8:22
I like the intense blue colour on the sky and water. Great landscape and very good image quality. Thanks for your useful note.
pablominto (53746) 2007-07-17 8:39
A very interesting subject, and I'm fascinated by the way you photograph it!
It is indeed hard to get an idea about the dimension from the image itself...
The landscape is dramatically beautiful, impressive rich colours in the good light!
PJE (20758) 2007-07-17 9:56
David this is simply amazing to see. I thank you so much for providing the helpful information as well. The closeup is excellent and the information provided is a wealth of learning. I love the colors and simply how beautiful this glacier is. Thanks once again for your outstanding trek earth commitment in providing such timely captures for us to learn.
Have a great day.. Paul
kermit350 (9016) 2007-07-17 10:04
Hello David, an empty image of boat or another object for given the scale, employs it great angle of 12mm is very judicious to emphasize all the beauty of the landscape, it is detrimental to see disappearing similar beauty (8 m per annum it is beaucoup)excellente symmetry and the polarizing one employs it amplifies beauty the simple effect of this sight, sincerely..................................Bonjour David, une image vide de bateau ou autre objet pour donné l’échelle, l’emploie du grand angle de 12mm est très judicieux pour faire ressortir toute la beauté du paysage, il est dommageable de voir disparaître pareil beauté (8 m par ans c’est beaucoup)excellente symétrie et l’emploie du polarisant amplifie l’effet beauté simple de cette vue, bien amicalement
Zolive (5935) 2007-07-17 10:55
Amazing picture with this tongue of ice which coming into the sea. Quiet and Power in the same picture, congratulations
avene (12675) 2007-07-17 10:55
amazing photo, love the perfect symmetry and saturated colours, very simple, but vivid scene. I've been looking to the photo for quite a shile now, and I must say that the scale is evasive :) sometime it feels almost like a close up, since the reflections fill almost all of the lower part and take away the feeling of distance. in other times something clicks in the braid and - WOW! HUGE! :) just thinking aloud - would the distance be more prominent if you made the image less vertically symetrical? may be more space for water would better allow to appreciate the 2 km. but, as I said, just speculating, since I have no idea if you could actually get a lower point of view. this is a great shot as it is. and you note deserves twice 2 points.
yso (4146) 2007-07-17 12:06
This blue color is so intense ... magic !
Beautiful composition with reflexion giving a big perspective.
lilimih33 (9918) 2007-07-17 17:16
fantastic colours and clarity in your composition!
jerjer (50) 2007-07-17 18:31
from a person who grew up in a tropical country like the philippines. ice seen at this magnitude is pretty amazing. salamat.
Charo (51212) 2007-07-18 2:04
Bellísima foto con una calidad extrordinaria, excelentes colores y gran POV.
El WS también es estupendo.
vinicio (23423) 2007-07-18 13:38
Amazing view from low POV and great scene of this cold nature, an excellent image David, compliments, beautiful place and image.
colinbrenchley (6431) 2007-07-19 5:32
Another excellent wow! shot. You must be doing more for the Greenland tourism industry than anyone! It is now certainly on my list of places to visit. Nearly made it a few years ago when I visited Iceland.
elihesamian (26149) 2007-07-20 9:19
nice to see you and hear you,Thanks for visiting my gallery,made me glad with your warm words,I take my hat !
What a nature you show us !
a beautiful cold blue in a tranquil atmosphere that you captured and composed symmetricaly very well.clear,sharp and great sharpness,too.
Oh,it's very cold......!
great note and Thanks for posting it.
Cretense (68703) 2007-07-21 8:26
This is a very impressive and unusual landscape a breath of fresh air in my hot summer day! The central composition in this case works very well. Beautiful colours! Congratulations!
leonorkuhn (16235) 2007-07-21 18:21
Very nice panorama with scarped rock mountains and old blue ice. Great colors, light and reflections.
danos (97529) 2007-07-22 0:32
yes, i think that it is difficult to capture and to give depth of field in these places that there isn't a scale to compare.Never mind, it's an impressive shot with excellent light and light.Your note is very informative with an elegant write.Bravo.
Have a nice weekend,Danos
AiresSantos (56155) 2007-07-22 2:06
another great work with excellent colours and contrast. I like your POV and rteflections
TFS and greetings
jhm (152314) 2007-07-22 9:01
I look to both pictures, I prefer this image here, but your WS is absolutely lovely.
Great landscape and very good image together with the nice reflections, very well quality too. Very well done.
Thanks for sharing.
Have a nice day,
jmcl (14535) 2007-07-22 9:50
Stunning image .. overpowering blues .. a wonderful sense of dimension .. a beautiful reflection of a powerful and unique place ..
feather (51130) 2007-07-22 12:21
Amazing image. I've looked at it a few times and still can't get my head round the scale. I agree the WS on its own is less likely to show the vast scale than this image, but this one, taken on its own, the glacier looks no higher that a few feet at most. Together with the WS we begin to get a better idea. The blues both in this one and the WS are simply stunning.
riclopes (35577) 2007-07-24 9:12
Olá David, I agree that this general view is the best one to give us an idea of the scale when compared with the surrounding mountains, but a person or even a boat would be perfect for that. It's impressive and very beautiful, but being there must be really awesome. May be one day... ;-)
Excellent technical quality, these shots with your D200.
josepmarin (58357) 2007-07-29 11:38
to despite that there is no element that offers us the scale of this impressive place, your explanation in the note on the peak of 1400m high next to the glacier gives me a good reference.
The place is very beautiful, solitary and with a great sensation of freedom and of peace, and you have caught it perfectly.
A great work with the exposure and a good quality of image and of colors. I love this picture.
Best regards, my friend,
ChrisJ (113331) 2007-08-02 5:07
An incredible blue sky, with a subtle curve on the horizon of the glacier. Good sharpness & pov. Tfs!
plimrn (21344) 2007-09-18 19:36
The low POV, splendid color and impeccable detail when combined with the the way you were able to capture the whole glacier betweeen the two mountains make this a very impressive composition. The WS is also awesome. The note gives outstanding information; I particulary like the specific detail about the rate of recession.
pierrefonds (65904) 2008-01-30 3:57
A good capture of the Knud Rasmussen glacier under a beautiful blue sky, it is receiving a good luminosity which brings out the colors and the best of the subject. The reflections in the water are an asset to the picture. Have a nice day.
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-06-26
- Categories: Nature
- Camera: Nikon D200, Nikkor AF-S 12-24mm f/4G ED, Circular PL
- Exposure: f/6.3, 1/400 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2007-07-17 8:10