Taken on January 5, 2017

Location: Between Skafatfell National Park and Svinafellsjökull. The view is over Skaftafellsjökull glacier tongue and we are about a kilometer from the ice.

According to our Geologist, photo-guide Owen Hunt,
“The moraine is relatively recent (post Ice Age, less than 8,000 years old) and has been modified by meltwater rivers which have flowed from the snout of the glacier. There are many kettle holes and kettle hole lakes in the area formed when blocks of ice break from the glacier snout, get covered in moraine and slowly melt. This leaves a kettle hole and if it fills with water it becomes a kettle hole lake.

This area was probably under ice maybe 600-800 years ago or maybe longer but not that long ago geologically.

The kettle hole blocks of ice broke off from the snout of the glacier and may have been moved by water or they could have been dead ice that had become detached from the glacier snout and then buried.

The glaciers in this area stretched much further from the mountains and were much thicker than they are today. They were more likely to be blocks broken from the glacier or dead ice. These were then covered in more deposits which were probably brought down by meltwater streams from the retreating ice.”

Camera settings

  • ƒ/14
  • 24 mm
  • 4 seconds
  • 400

Mode: AV mode with + 2 stops over (compensation +/-).
Focus: f/11 hyperfocal mark. This is slightly weighted to the background.

Camera equipment

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • EF24mm f/1.4L II USM
  • Medium weight Gitzo
  • 6 stop B&W ND filter
  • Magic Cloth = Black sleeve of my fleece.
The Canon 5D mark iii Canon 5D
mark III
Canon 5D mark III Recommended for Magic Cloth Photography
The Canon EF-24mm f/1.4 Canon
EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM A nice prime lens for landscape.

Glacial Mirrors

Magic Cloth

Long exposure = 4 seconds.

Because of the foreground ice and reflection, this is not a big dynamic range scene. My starting exposure (AV mode) was 2 stops over. The photo could have been achieved without any filters or Magic Cloth, but the foreground would have required some brightening.

This was a very simple karate chop (after half second) followed by slowly raising the cloth over the remaining 3 & half seconds. Half a second on the sky was almost losing the detail and the highlights had to be brought back a little in LR – although there was no clipping. The extra exposure time on the foreground was almost perfect and has required very little processing in terms of luminosity and gave me lots of options regarding color saturation and clarity.

Post Processing

Here is the unprocessed image. As you can see the foreground has enough exposure for a whole range of processing options. The staged exposure of the magic cloth has fully exposed the most immediate foreground giving the best possible sharpness.
Glacier Landscape unprocessed
This image is the Lightroom preparation. It is unusual for me to export a full contrast file, but because of the exposure control, a contrast boost had no effect on image quality – no degradation. I adjusted the clarity, slight Chromatic Aberration adjustment, and slight noise reduction.
Glacier Landscape Lightroom Prepared

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