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Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland by Ralph Rozema

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The Ilulissat Icefjord is one the natural gems in western Greenland. It is easily accessible for hikers, but at midnight in early July when the light creates a fairytale atmosphere there is no one else. It is the moment for photography.

The icebergs coming from the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier cover most of the fjord. They move slowly creating a different scenery nearly every day. The most dynamic part is where this sea of icebergs meets the open water of the ocean.

Tourists usually come only during the day. They miss the spectacular light around midnight, the soft shadows of the icebergs, which turn the scenery into a fairytale landscape.

From the town Illulissat it is a walk of only a few kilometers. There are several trails. You can also find you own way through the hills to get better views. Arriving at the icefjord, people sit hours in the grass and enjoy the endless ice landscape. Sometimes you hear the breathing sounds of the humpback whales. At one time there were six of them in the fjord, sometimes they came close to the side.

Often in landscape photography I use wide lenses, but along the icefjord telephoto lenses were the best. The icebergs come in many shapes and lines and the most beautiful is to capture these details. It is the art of nature. Views are extremely clear in Greenland, so you can easily take photos of scenes further away.

I am more a landscape than a wildlife photographer, but there are great opportunities along the icefjord. I liked the humpback whales playing in the midnight sun. But you need patience to capture them well, most of the time they come and disappear quickly.

One evening I arrived shortly before midnight at the icefjord and climbed down to take the ice from a lower point of view. There was no one else. This time I used a wide lens. Just at that moment a tiny creature ran over the ice blocks. It was an arctic fox with its prey, probably a gull. It would have made a perfect foreground if I had the right telephoto lens, but the moment was too short to change it. Perhaps a second camera next time. The landscape photos are already worth the trip just because of the incredible light.

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