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Gliding through a frozen world…..

Posted by Florian – April 19, 2010

Florian looks trhough a curtain of frozen needles inside the glacier cave, Svalbard.

With our guide Christopher we are getting the first impressions of the Svalbard landscape. With four teams of eager and highly energetic sled dogs we are heading out. The mountainous landscape is under a soft blanket of snow. The silence is interrupted only by the barking and yelping of the dog teams. We are planning to travel up to a glacier and enter through a narrow cave deep into the center of the frozen body of ice.

Sled dogs doing what they love the most, pulling!

The dogs had had a good rest before our trip and so the are ready to go. It is all that is on their mind. Everything needs to be tightly tied down on the sleds and before we give the go, we need to tie it down with a “ice hook” so that the dogs don`t take off with the sled by themselves. Once the sled is off the hook, the dogs take off like a bullet. The only way to slow the sled down is to push down on an iron plow-like break that digs itself into the snow.

Ice formations inside a glacier cave, Svalbar

Once the sled is on the go all the dogs are completely focused on pulling. Every individual wants to do its part and not lack behind. I guess that is what they are bread for. Pulling is what is on their mind. We make it up to the cave. I have little idea of what to expect. As my eyes start to adapt to the darkness I see a wonderful sculptured cave landscape. In some areas water must have melted late in the season and has created incredible ice sculptures. With my flashlight I am painting over the formations, leaving the curtain of my camera open for over one minute. The image that appears on the back of the viewfinder reminds me of a “Cathedral of Ice”.

As the water trickles inside, it glides over the icy surface and creates frozen needles hanging from the sealing of the cave. Svalbard

I had a small tripod with which it was easy to enter some of the narrow cavities. I used a cable release with a lock mechanism so I could keep have exposure times of 1 to 2 minutes. Another key was the more neutral colored LED light of my headlamp. It allowed for a more curate rendering of the colors.

Posted in: Adventure, Arctic, Expeditions, Photography, wilderness | Tagged: , , , , , ,


  • Jon Cornforth

    on April 19, 2010 at 10:35 am


  • Miguel Angel de la Cueva

    on April 21, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Beautiful photos Florian, congratulations!!!

  • jeetendra

    on September 14, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Hey Man, I am from Kutch which is the top out of ten birding and wild life destination. there are a lot things but there is no man like you can really make it famous and spread it throughout the world. Today, i have seen most of your videos and photos and they are amazing! You are a great Photographer and I would say you born for Photography! thanks so much for sharing with us such wonderful photos and video Man. have you ever been to India? You are welcome to Kutch if you ever come man! I am so happy to see your stuff! No words!

  • serkan mutan

    on May 13, 2013 at 5:15 am

    beautiful photos…

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About this blog:

Sharing the natural world through stories, images and experiences out in the field from conservation photographer Florian Schulz and Emil Herrera-Schulz. Here you will find conversations on environmental topics, conservation, photographing nature and wildlife subjects and professional tips to achieve striking images or managing your image archive. If you have a question, send it to us via our contact form and it might get answered on a post!

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