I mentioned in my two previous posts that it is difficult to appreciate the scale of a glacier from a photograph, but perhaps this aerial view might help to show the grandeur of these massive ‘highways’ of ice that cover so much of Greenland’s rugged landscape.
Greenland has some of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, with a top speed of 12.5 km per year having been recorded. The glacier in this photograph is about two kilometres wide, and has very prominent medial and lateral moraines which, from a distance, look like lane markings on a super wide highway winding its way down between the mountain ranges.
(Moraines are made up of rocks scraped off the valley sides, and when you see a distinct medial moraine like there is on the middle of this glacier, it shows that it has been formed by two glaciers merging further up the valley).
This is not the same glacier as in my two previous posts. This photograph was taken over the Watkins Mountains, about 250 km north of the Arctic Circle, and to the east of Gunnbjornsfjeld, the highest peak in the Arctic. I do not know the name of this particular glacier, as there were no maps available of this area. Probably it has not been mapped in any detail as it is a total wilderness region, the nearest settlement being Ittoqqortoormiit, about 200 km to the north-east.
The technical quality of this is not brilliant, due to it being shot through the window of a Dash 8, but the ‘dirty’ colours are true to life. I shot this at 1/2000th sec to overcome the vibration of the prop-jet engines.
siolaw, linask, Clairedelune, Manamo, Buin, crhieatt, pablominto, Photo65Net, rtome, vinicio, SamB, jafadabret, cyrrhus, Brian, kermit350, riclopes, ktanska, bakes888, elmec, carper, alainh, ChrisJ, saylan-cb, John_F_Kennedy, feather, tcht, plimrn, balatrek, atus, capthaddock, Charo, Flavia, jmcl, ruisc_pt, branley, cessy, kiwi_explorer, Henryk_Bilor, AmiBe, whereami has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
siolaw (38292) 2007-07-27 11:08
We can understand the scale quite well here! It looks qite giantic! Nice aerial view with the glacier really looking like a highway! nice sharpnes and exposure.. i like the graphism of the moutain slopes, they look great!
linask (2930) 2007-07-27 11:19
Great photo of remote place and very informative note.
I see no real problems with quality here at least in downsized photo.
evarol (196) 2007-07-27 11:27
It must have been awesome to view something of that scale first hand. You also conveyed your viewed on to a photograph very well, good fit into the frame with great detail.
MichaelTrezzi (3368) 2007-07-27 11:34
Hello David, it looks like you are from the warm Malysia on vacation in a colder region. The Arctic Super Highway is however spectacular. Its amazing what shapes quite common in our hectic time the nature can create - just without the hectic feelings around that. Thanks for sharing. Rgds, Michael
Clairedelune (4923) 2007-07-27 11:53
Impressive, isn't it? It must be really something to see that with our own eyes...
Indeed, I thought it was a highway. Very peculiar that a moving glacier can make such a regular pattern. I did not know that a glacier can move so fast (well... for a glacier, of course!) But hey! I always learn something in reading your notes! :)) Considering the circumstances, it is sharp! Your choice of aperture time was appropriate.
Nature is a wonder!
Manamo (3708) 2007-07-27 11:59
there even are some exits on your highway!! Impressive!! Very very impressive I must say. I'm always astonished by what nature can show us...
Exposure must have been hard to control with such highlight and dark zones.
Since it's moving so fast, didn't you try a panning shot?
Have a nice day,
Buin (42460) 2007-07-27 13:00
An interesting photo of a breathtaking landscape. Let's enjoy this view as long as it's possible .... It looks so great and huge but the balance which let's exist these glaciers is so vulnerable ... A really wonderful photo!
Greetings from Germany - and have a nice weekend!
yso (4146) 2007-07-27 13:14
Abstract or real ? Great shot so sharp, very graphic, well done !
crhieatt (5347) 2007-07-27 14:47
Sharp enough for me David, and what an extraordinary view it is. Thanks for posting this little - well, I mean HUGE, piece of plantary magic!
lestans (17162) 2007-07-27 15:23
Wow!! what a monument of nature!!
I like this shot very much, Greenland must be wonderful.
Polonaise (5802) 2007-07-27 20:37
No proper words of gratitude I can find David, for this gift of yours to TE...
Absolutely, 100% of certainty - you're the greatest NG photographer on the site...
There is no bull in your notes...There is nothing of flattery in your photographs...
Just pure breed, professional journalistic post after post.
The problem ?
Yes .. I have a problem with this stuff...
I'd like to be smart enough to write something smart enough for all of them...
And that's my problem
And - it's a colossal one !!!
Be there, David… For me..
pboehringer (770) 2007-07-27 20:51
David, there are several things that makes a shot a good photograph and that isn't only the technical quality. Your POV and composition is so striking and beautiful that I won't start looking at the thechnical quality. Your analogy of highways is a pretty good and funny one - 12.5km/ year. Yeap, that is a highway!
sined (4523) 2007-07-27 23:01
very very impressive picture!
PJE (20758) 2007-07-27 23:16
David I find this aerial view fascinating to say the least. I really like the center and curb lines in this glacier. It really does look like a highway. Excellent capture here and thanks for sharing!
pablominto (53746) 2007-07-28 0:16
This is a very good illustration of how valleys were created many places in ancient times, and as we see in Greenland today!
A lovely frame with high educational value!
Photo65Net (43120) 2007-07-28 1:05
Wow, what an icy highway !
You caught a beautiful curve of this glacier, and perfectly tight-framed it.
I like it a lot,
feather (51130) 2007-07-28 13:02
What an amazing sight. I studied the photo before I read your note and yes it really does resemble a highway. From this POV in your plane we can see clearly just how valleys are formed. I'll repeat....Amazing shot.
vinicio (23423) 2007-07-28 14:20
Indeed it seems to a gigantic highway, your POV is great and the image is very interesting, well done David, compliments, unusual and fascinating image.
vincz (19113) 2007-07-28 23:05
Wow... fantatsic shot. I love your POV. truly stunning.
jafadabret (56501) 2007-07-29 0:06
David, j'aime beaucoup la simplicité et la beauté du cliché. Le glacier fait un beau graphisme entre les deux reliefs. C'est une photo extraordinaire.
cyrrhus (2878) 2007-07-29 6:23
I understand why you couldn't resist shooting through the window... this glacier is really impressive... and in full adequacy with the title. No risk of trafic jam here...everything is very fluent. The primitive Earth in all its splendor.
Brian (3) 2007-07-29 20:22
Amazing moraine markings. They do look like highway lanes, but instead its the bedrock carved out by a glacier. I love the distant out of reach places you show us here.
kermit350 (9016) 2007-07-30 3:06
Hello David, this view from above inserts to us direct in the image and centres all our attention on the glacier which is impressive, this point of view is formidable because you have to negotiate this photograph because of this visual advance well towards this giant of ice and a superb texture in the paroies which closes the image perfectly, sincerely..............................Bonjour David,, cette vue plongeante nous fait entrer directe dans l’image et recentre toute notre attention sur le glacier qui est impressionnant, ce point de vue est formidable car tu as bien négocier cette photo du fait de ce cheminement visuel vers ce géant de glace et une superbe texture dans les paroies qui ferme parfaitement l’image,, bien amicalement
riclopes (35577) 2007-07-30 10:03
Olá David, forget about technical quality. This is very impressive and it immediately reminded me the images of Yann Aarthus-Bertrand - the earth seen from above. Also, your composition is superb. It really looks like an highway. Nature is the biggest artist of all :D Problably, my favorite picture of this series of yours.
ktanska (27244) 2007-07-30 22:26
Strong graphism on this shot that essentially has just two colours. Great to see how even on a rough surface, the slow motion of ice makes smooth lines. Rare scene, the glaciers don't show so clearly from 33000 feet.
bakes888 (18499) 2007-07-31 0:29
Hi David. Great photo, and taken under difficult conditions. You have captured the textures of the rock and ice well. Nice composition also. Thanks for sharing.
jemaflor (95343) 2007-07-31 9:40
Great landscape, great photo with an interesting idea to compare with a higway, congratulation and tfs.
elmec (12210) 2007-08-01 1:43
Extraodinary place and composition!
Great idea and perfect done!
carper (96) 2007-08-01 7:32
a fantastic photo David,
realy a piece of art, fantastic lines, good pov,yes this is a good one, the composition is very nice to look at, great photojob here.
Fis2 (95497) 2007-08-01 11:43
Interesting composition and frame. Good idea, very curious effect. Very impressive picture.
alainh (33201) 2007-08-01 23:05
as you said, a true hightway ! Incredible.the angle is top to show us this great natural construction. the man is very tiby !!
a very beautiful and graphic picture.
have a nice day David
ChrisJ (111602) 2007-08-02 4:54
A fantastic aerial shot, with good use of repetitive curves & excellent graphism. I like the minimalist colour too. Tfs!
baba_flies (8829) 2007-08-02 8:15
Hello David! So you were up in the air also as I can see :) Isn't this something, very impressive how the glacier "eats" its way through the valley. Super highway was just the right choice serving as your title. It is not always easy to make good photos through the window of an aircraft. Many times they are scrateched or dirty. Nevertheless, I find it came out very well. Take care, Barbara.
John_F_Kennedy (43665) 2007-08-02 8:52
Lovely shot. Like the curve of the ice. Nice picture, wonderful composition with great details.
claire526 (1267) 2007-08-02 16:34
Nature's art. Very beautiful. I love the lines and the textures here.
tcht (7565) 2007-08-03 8:37
...wow I thought its an actual highway looking at the thumbnail :) I've been to 'glaciers' but never seen anything this massive. amazing pic from a fascinating viewpoint in a beautiful country - Greenland is one of the places I'd dream to visit..
plimrn (21344) 2007-08-03 13:28
This is an amzing photo; The curving lines make a great compo even without the information that it is glacier. It really does look like a freeway. Thanks for including the information about how you were able to get good detail from a small plane. HLJ, Pat
kensimage (8565) 2007-08-04 21:59
I had no idea there were glaciers that moved so fast, David--over 30 meters per day! It must be noisy to be next to one, with a lot of grinding. I have seen these highway-like glaciers only from 35,000 feet; they looked fascinating and it's great to see one up somewhat closer. A nice composition here, especially given that it's out an airplane window. Regards, Ken.
balatrek (7455) 2007-08-05 14:37
Simple image but of interesting beauty, seems an abstract work, the perspective is perfect, good light and you have managed to catch a different and mysterious landscape, congratulations and thanks to share.
bantonbuju (51815) 2007-08-07 23:21
an excellent use of the natural conditions...this photo is "bold" and speaks volumes about the severe conditions you may find in that island...
atus (15856) 2007-08-09 4:41
Hi David, thanks to your drop off, I discovered your fantastic pics of Greenland. This one is really great and unique and looking at the thumbnail, I was confused and wondering about where this highway is located (:D. Great framing and capture!
Compliments and best regards.
capthaddock (28790) 2007-08-10 13:56
There is NOTHING wrong with the technical quality David, an aereal though an aircraft window can't get sharper than this, brilliant crop (or zoom), the title fits it perfectly.
Charo (51210) 2007-08-12 14:29
Fantástica vista aérea de este gran glaciar.
la foto es impresionante.
devimeuxbe (58557) 2007-08-16 0:46
incredible shot ! Perfect cropping and persepctive on thiswonderfull place.
In my favorites
Flavia (10352) 2007-08-16 14:46
Quite impressive this road. It makes a interesting drawing on the landscape. Aerial pictures are quite difficult t acheive and you got a quite good quality in this one.
jmcl (14535) 2007-08-16 22:41
Tremendous image .. the scale .. the combination of graphical and natural feel is incredibly striking .. very nice. (well executed as well).
ruisc_pt (10892) 2007-08-21 9:22
Stunning image ..
At a 1st glance It seemed to be a really motorway covered with snow..
It's indeed a beautiful image of this glacier that really "drives" fast..
branley (3681) 2007-08-21 23:19
this is a really striking photograph. When I first saw the thumbnail I thought it was a new motorway under construction but, viewing the full size shot and reading your fine note, it's quite apparent that it's a true wonder of nature. A superb capture David, very well done and worthy of more acclaim.
cessy (13647) 2007-08-22 13:53
marvelous landscape, it looks almost monochrome, with only a few spread of blue tinge
the curves are great, and despite taken from the window of plane, you managed to make very good compo here
hajle (1087) 2007-08-24 5:00
perfect compo; great lights, colours and power of size that you've shown us here;
kiwi_explorer (12209) 2007-08-25 4:16
Superb photography ... what a landscape and you've captured it well. I like your POV utilizing the appealing curve. Well composed and aptly titled. Excellent work! tfs
Henryk_Bilor (20799) 2007-08-27 1:39
Impressive capture. So big and perfectly performed highway ;). Good perspective, you could only put a car on the ice ;).
AmiBe (6042) 2007-09-02 12:52
impressive, very impressive.
Your POV is perfect to show this artic highway.
No problem of traffic congestion here :)
The speed of the glacier is incredible.
noborders (1010) 2008-02-21 10:41
This photo is really impressive, I like the beautiful curve too, but it is difficult to understand the scale of this grandeur, as you mention... Great photo, TFS,
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-06-27
- Categories: Nature
- Camera: Nikon D200, Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4D, UV
- Exposure: f/4, 1/2000 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2007-07-27 11:03
- Favorites: 1 [view]