Year End Countdown # 5 — Dreamscape
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Tonight’s image returns us to Svalbard, a place that I will return to several more times over the next few days. I took this image as our boat was navigating a channel between the big island of Spitzberg and some smaller islands. The image shows those two of those islands amidst a sea that was so calm it resembled a mirror in its reflecting capacity. I took this picture late one afternoon, but the extraordinary light isn’t really “late afternoon” any more so than the light at any time of day or night reflected the time of day as shown on the clock. Svalbard in June is in daylight 24 hours a day; the sun is, however, always relatively low in the sky, so the lighting is always spectacular. What sets the mood here are the clouds, that filtered enough of the sunlight to create an intensely romantic scene.
There is something surrealistic and dreamlike about this image that I really like. I really love the way that the water and clouds seem to recede to infinity. To me, it captures much of the allure of the polar regions. Those islands are not only uninhabited, it is possible — even likely — that no human will set foot on them for years on end. There are almost certainly places up there that have never been trod upon by human feet. There are endless vistas like this in Svalbard, staggeringly beautiful and emotionally overpowering. It has been nearly six months since I returned from the arctic and I think about it every single day.
Image made with a Canon 5Diii, 16-35 mm f4 L IS @ 16 mm with polarizing filter, aperture preferred setting, ISO 200, f8 @ 1/160.