Glacier Hikers

17 March, 2016 Iceland

Standing at the foot of Langjokull wrapped head to toe in thermal layers I looked up in awe at Iceland's second largest glacier. I had hiked for 20 minutes with my group of fellow photographers from the drop off point to the base of the mass of ice and we were completely surrounded by it on all sides.

Two things struck me as I looked around at it, its vastness and its abstract beauty that was evident in the subtle colour hues and frozen formations that ran sporadically through it. Hunkering down to look through my lens I realised doing justice to its size was a near impossible task so instead I set about focusing on the latter, isolating and capturing the abstract features and patterns to be found within the ice. Aspects of a scene we often would tend to overlook when taking it all in with our eyes alone.

Landscape photography more often than not revolves around beautiful unspoiled scenery, but there are times when it's worth remembering when we work together man and nature can create a powerful combination.

As I was zooming in and experimenting with tilting my camera and searching for aesthetic shades and textures movement caught my eye. I looked up to see a group of hikers had begun their slow, steady ascent up the mighty glacier.

I stood back and watched their progress in admiration. They moved cautiously across a natural force not to be taken lightly. I in turn position myself back behind my camera and realigned the shot before me - the glacier waiting for the hikers to make their appearance. I sat back and waited, taking in the scene around me, and replacing my ski gloves! After a time the hikers appeared in my camera frame and the image took on a whole new sense of life and meaning. Scale was introduced; suddenly the sense of size and might of the glacier was relatable.

I waited a few minutes longer until all hikers came into view and compositionally the image worked with the rule of thirds and leading lines coming into play through the hiker's position and movements. Landscape photography more often than not revolves around beautiful unspoiled scenery, but there are times when it's worth remembering when we work together man and nature can create a powerful combination.