The Forms of Ice

Three images today that were taken within a span of ten minutes on a high altitude walk that I have walked many times – and no two occasions have been the same.

The first shows one of the remarkable sights of compacted ice. Think of the annular rings in a tree trunk for a moment and how they count the years. In ice, the compacted layers count individual snow falls. The dark layers are formed of sediment, debris, pollution perhaps, and even Saharan sand.

The second is s little further on – a steep slope of snow and ice above the track. The top third composed of compacted swirls of ice below which lies snow not yet melted, stained by dust and grit through which runs a thin fissure which over time will become a deeper and wider crevasse.

Finally the ice slope below the previous two images. A sheet of crazed, cracked, fragmented ice. As if a giant with a blade has incised the surface in a moment of madness.

All within ten minutes and probably two hundred yards of walking. Glacial ice always takes me by surprise, sometimes with its elegance, and at other times by the rawness of its chaos.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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17 Responses to The Forms of Ice

  1. alan frost says:

    Fascinating studies of glacial ice Andy. I also enjoyed your descriptions as to how they are formed and the history that lies within. A photographic project all of its own.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks for your comment, Alan. Glaciers are now a project – one of a number of projects actually. I have been trawling my archive for previous images. The only problem is that I won’t be capturing any new images until net summer comes around.

  2. Fantastic captures Andy! I find this fascinating and the patterns are amazing!

  3. Fascinating—made more so by your excellent framing. I’ve never seen anything like this.

  4. paula graham says:

    Marvellous, there is so much beauty in our world and yet…often we do not gaze long enough to celebrate.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Paula. There are a number of places in the Alps where the average tourist can get close to a glacier, but to really appreciate them, you have to be actually on them

  5. I have always been fascinated about the formations made by glaciers. You have captured their beauty in these three different variations.

  6. shoreacres says:

    These are fascinating, and beautiful. Had it not been for the color, I might have taken the first image for rock. The second looks almost lava-like. As you say, each image shows a different face of the glacier — what a thrill it must be to be able to experience them so closely.

    • LensScaper says:

      In images where colour is very subtle, it’s tempting to remove it, but it is that subtlety that is critical to an understanding of the image, as you so rightly point out

  7. Love all the subtle patterns you’ve captured in these photos. 🙂

  8. bluebrightly says:

    Or with its raw elegance! That’s a quality I think you convey in your photographs of glacial ice, and the rocks, too. I really like them! Looking forward to seeing more!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Lynn – I think I’ve been very lucky to have seen quite a few glaciers up close and experience their beauty. I vividly remember setting out early on a climb which initially involved crossing a glacier and hearing several loud ‘booms’ as the glacier shifted every so slightly.

  9. Chillbrook says:

    Beautiful images Andy. I was introduced to glaciers in winter in Iceland, covered in snow, the depths of the blues breathtaking and then I visited a glacier in summer, dirty lacking the beauty of the glacier in winter but giving a much clearer view of the reality of what glaciers do. We stood in silence, we could hear the glacier moving, grinding rock to gravel and picking up these pieces and carrying them to the sea. As we walked, we came across a plaque commemorating 3 German visitors to the glacier that never returned. Their bodies never found. So very sobering. Having struggled up a treacherous path, seeing the plaque we went no further. Suddenly the ice that you have captured so beautifully took on a sinister air. Suddenly we were aware of the cold and the loss of these men on the glacier a real reminder of the power contained within these ice flows. We turned and left, in silence save for the sound of rock being ground beneath the ice. We got in the car. It took a long time to get warm.

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