1/1000s @ f/7 ISO 100 @ 24mm
I captured the above photo from the upper deck of a boat cruising up to the glacier’s northern face which rises some 60-meters above the water. The front of the glacier spans 5km and is pretty dang impressive as you can see. I shot this image at 1/1000s to stop any possible movement from the boat and at 24mm wide-angle to take in as much of the scene as I could. The weather was perfect with dramatic dark clouds that enhanced the blue glacial ice—when viewed in bright sunlight the ice turns stark white and it loses its depth, color and drama.
1/200s @ f/16 ISO 100 @ 55mm
This photo shows the scene that greets you when you first enter the park by vehicle (the glacier’s southern face). From this miles-distant first view the glacier doesn’t look all that big although it does look stunningly beautiful. Shooting from land (as opposed to the deck of a moving boat) I was able to slow my shutter speed to 1/200s and increase my aperture to f/16 for maximum depth of field all the while maintaining ISO 100 for superior image quality. Again, the shooting conditions were just about perfect (what little sun there was generally stayed to my rear).
1/400s @ f/13 ISO 100 @ 24mm
For a moment (a matter of seconds really) the sun illuminated this beautiful reflection and I got off a couple of quick snaps before it went back behind the clouds. Again, I shot this from the deck of a slowly moving boat and I took a risk by shooting at 1/400s but it allowed me to shoot at f/13 and ISO 100. The risk paid off and I experienced absolutely no motion blur or camera shake whatsoever. The glacier itself is tack-sharp while showing off its beautiful blue hue and has the highest possible resolution.
1/1000s @ f/9 ISO 100 @ 85mm
I spent all day photographing this wonder of nature and took over 400 photos. I selected these four as being representative of what I saw. I travelled the park by van, boat and my two feet. The more adventuresome can trek on the glacier itself using crampons. It’s a thrill (one I didn’t have time, money or stamina for) because the glacier is constantly calving with loud reverberating thunderclaps as huge chunks of ice sheer off from the face and splash into the lake below (it takes 400 to 500 years for the icepack to reach the calving point on the glacier’s face).
Stephen F. Dennstedt
Photographer, Writer, Traveller