Shackleton x Leica
Winner and 1st Prize
2000+ entries - www.shackletonlondon.com
"My wife Lena and I are both fascinated by the wild and by wildlife and Svalbard has become one of our favorite places - we have so far made seven visits to the islands during all seasons of the year. This shot was taken in mid-August on the north coast. We spent two weeks onboard a small former sea surveyor ship, M/S Stockholm, built in 1953. The skipper has spent more than 30 years in the area and the ships shallow depth allows her to access places few other vessels can.
At the bottom of this northern fjord, you approach the impressive Monacobreen glacier. We anchored at a safe distance and approached in a small Zodiac. As we were fairly close to the glacier, several clumps of ice started to crack and fall into the water. These were the size of cars and buses. Then we discovered a crack in the ice front that seemed to increase rapidly. We slowly moved away and watched a massive part of the glacier wall crack and fall into the sea with a roar. We were just catching our breath from this magnificent drop when there was a blast and a huge section of the glacier started to tip and fell straight down into the sea and disappeared. This is the moment captured in the shot.
The scenario was amplified by the seabirds that went crazy due to all the food being surfaced by the water turbulence. By now, we were moving away to avoid the approaching tsunami. The wave eventually caught us, but we had been able to get some distance from it and there was no real danger."
"This image is many things. First of all, it fits the brief of the competition perfectly: this image has captured an extreme event. Also, it was taken from quite a precarious position: the wave that the lump of ice would have produced when it landed in the water would have been a big one!
The image has captured both the sheer beauty of the ice and the raw power of nature. Given the current global climate and the recent news we are receiving about glaciers calving and breaking up on a massive scale, this image has huge social value.
Taken on a normal setting with so many influencing factors - light, shade and color - the photographer has done well to get a perfect exposure too."
Martin Hartley - Award-Winning Expedition Photographer
Karin Rehn-Kaufmann - Art Director Leica
Guy Berryman - Coldplay Member, Photographer and Creative Director
Martin Brooks - CEO Shackleton