Islands of Ice in Black Water: Photography by Jan Erik Waider

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Greenland offers tranquillity and confounding beauty to anyone who can bare the harsh terrain and unforgiving climate of her transforming glaciers. Intrigued and undaunted, German photographer Jan Erik Waider is perpetually seduced by the frozen seascapes of Greenland’s Disko Bay. Braving the chilling winds and arctic temperatures, he is able to capture astounding views of the solemn islands of ice.

Although intimidating and breathtaking, even the most massive icebergs conceal their true fragility. As each piece calves and crashes into a glacial bath below, the aging icebergs slowly begin to disappear. Waider realizes that “every photo of an iceberg shows a unique moment – a unique landscape –  which is gone by now, [but] captured by my camera.”

By day he uses a small fishing boat to pan for those profound shots while bundling up to camp near the Eqip Sermia Glacier at night. Even more challenging though are the solo ventures on ATV he takes to capture those remote perspectives.

The most surprising thing about his icy encounters are the unusual surfaces of the icebergs. “It’s fascinating that almost every iceberg has its own texture; some really don’t look like ice in nature, and especially not in black and white,” Waider describes to GARAKAMI. “Some have small holes like cheese, and some are really smooth or have big cracks and lines.”

To create even more intensity in his photographs, Waider applies post-processing black and white conversions. He deepens the already strong natural contrast between the ice and dark water to infuse each glacial portrait with emotion.


Keara Wright

Aspiring creative author and astrophysicist, with degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology.

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