Archivi categoria: ice

This Photographer Built an Ice Dress for Her Maiden of Finland Photo Shoot

Look at Finland on a map (and squint your eyes a touch) and you’ll see a woman, standing strong, defiant, with one hand held high. This was the symbol Finnish photographer Suvi Sievila wanted to capture for her portrait The Maiden of Finland… but first she had to build a dress made of ice.

Finland celebrates 100 years of independence this year, and Sievila wanted to pay her own personal homage to her homeland. “To capture Finland as a photographer, I embrace my homeland during the season of winter,” she explains, “illustrat[ing] its dramatic landscape through the beauty of ice.”

Specifically, an ice dress, made by hand from “bricks” frozen inside 170 milk cartons that it took her 5 months to collect. Just add water… actually, it was more like: just boil 170 liters of water over 4 days, so the bricks come out clear:

Of course, that was the easy part; conceptualizing the shoot and freezing the water bricks was just the beginning.

“After that, I started to build,” says Sievila. “Building a dress out of ice was made layer by layer, and I made a mixture out of water and snow to seal the ice. I had to wait until each layer would freeze so that the ice pieces would stay together.”

Slowly, but surely (but really slowly) the dress came together, and it was time to shoot.

The day of the shoot, time was of the essence. After a week of freezing days during which Sievila had built the dress, the temperature spiked above freezing and the dress was melting fast.

“When the makeup artist, Satu, and the model, Belinda, were finishing the makeup, a few upper ice cubes fell down because of the melting,” says Sievila. “I ran inside and told them that there was no time to waste!”

And they did it! Shooting in pieces so Belinda didn’t become an ice cube herself, they got the shots they needed. A couple of hours later… the dress collapsed. Here’s a full behind the scenes video of the shoot.

And here is the final image, captured and composited by Sievila:

Can you see the outline of Finland there? Here’s a closeup that should help:

A frozen tribute worthy of Finland. To learn more about this photo shoot, check out Sievila’s Maiden of Finland blog. And if you want to see more of her work, visit her website or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(via Fstoppers)


Image credits: All photographs by Suvi Sievila and used with permission.

Photographing Frozen Baikal: The Deepest and Oldest Lake On Earth

Baikal is… impressive. It’s the deepest and the cleanest lake on Earth. When we were planning our trip, we had no idea how wonderful, majestic, and fairy it would be. We were enraptured by its beauty, so much so that we almost didn’t sleep all 3 days we were there.

Lake Baikal is about 600km (373 miles) in length. The thickness of the ice on top reaches 1.5-2 meters (5-6.5 feet)—at its thickest, it can tolerate vehicles of about 15 tonnes, but sometimes we saw cars that had been fallen down.

But the ice isn’t just strong, it’s also gorgeous: displaying different patterns in different parts of the lake because the water freezes layer-by-layer. Baikal’s ice is also the most transparent in the world! You can see everything all the way to the bottom: fish, green stones, plants, and bluish gulf. The water in the lake is so clear that you can see various objects even as deep as 40 meters (130 feet).

The bubbles in the ice are the result of methane gas that is produced by algae.

Baikal is the world’s deepest lake. Its origin and age still provoke scientific arguments, so let’s just say that Baikal is the biggest reservoir of fresh water on Earth, measuring in at a depth of 1,642 meters (5,387 feet). Only two other lakes in the world are deeper than 1000 meters: lake Tanganyika (1470 m) and the Caspian Sea (1025 m).

In some parts the ice is slippery, like a mirror—you can shoot ideal reflections. A lot of travelers are moving about on skates, bicycles, or sledges. Some of them are walking for several hundreds of kilometers, sleeping in tents on the ice. It’s impossible to describe, but it’s a marvelous place—very atmospheric.

The ice is cracking all the time. When the frost is heavy, cracks divide the ice into different areas. The length of these cracks ranges from 10-30 km (6 to 18.5 miles), and the width is 2-3 m (6.5-10 feet). Cracks happen every year, approximately at the same areas of the lake. When it happens, they are followed by a loud CRACK that reminds one of thunder or a gun shot.

The ice on Baikal is there till May, but by April no one drives on it.

The only river in the world that flows from the lake is Angara, all other rivers flow into the lake. There is a legend that the Father Baikal had 336 rivers—335 sons and one daughter, Angara. All of the sons flowed into Baikal to restock the water, but the daughter fell in love with Yenisei (another river in Russia) and started to take her father’s water to her lover.

In response, father Baikal threw a huge rock into his daughter and cursed her. This rock is called Shaman-Stone; it is situated in the spring head of Angara, and is considered to be the river’s beginning.


About the author: Kristina Makeeva is a photographer and engineer based in Moscow, Russia. You can see more of her work on her website, Instagram, and 500px. This article was also published here, and has been edited for clarity.

Photos of a Natural Ice Circle Spinning in a River

Photographer Kaylyn Messer was browsing Facebook recently when she learned that there was a large ice circle in the river close to her home. She grabbed her camera, jumped into her car, found the circle, and shot a series of beautiful photos.

An ice circle, also known as an ice disc, is a rare and natural phenomenon that’s sometimes seen in cold, slow-moving waters. It’s a thin and circular slab of ice that rotates slowly in the flowing water.

“Ice discs form on the outer bends in a river where the accelerating water creates a force called ‘rotational shear’, which breaks off a chunk of ice and twists it around,” the Wikipedia article says. “As the disc rotates, it grinds against surrounding ice — smoothing into a circle.”

Messer found the ice circle she photographed in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River.

“I spent the afternoon watching the slow rotations and listening to the murmurs of the ice,” she writes. “A few notches of ice were broken from the nearly perfect circle.”

You can find more of Messer’s work on her website and Instagram.

(via Colossal)

Documenting Ice Road Trucking in Siberia, a Terrifying Assignment

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Photojournalists are used to risking life and limb to capture their subject, but how many have had to risk freezing to death in Siberia? Photojournalist Amos Chapple has, and he recently told the story behind this “scariest assignment of my life” in a photo essay that’ll have you literally holding your breath.

The photo essay was shot for Radio Free Europe, who sent Chapple to document one Russian ice road trucker’s 12-day haul up the frozen (but quickly thawing) rivers that lead up to the country’s arctic north.

Chapple was paired up with was 28-year-old Ruslan Dorochenkov, 8-year veteran driver of the Indigirka River. Together, they hopped inside Ruslan’s Kamaz truck—loaded up with groceries to a total weight of 12-tons—and hit the road on a late afternoon in Spring.

In the early hours of the morning Ruslan leaves the cab to look closely at a wet section of road.
In the early hours of the morning Ruslan leaves the cab to look closely at a wet section of road.
A truck heading through the Verkhoyansk mountains. The first half of the journey to Belaya Gora is along the Kolyma Highway, known as the "Road of Bones".
A truck heading through the Verkhoyansk mountains. The first half of the journey to Belaya Gora is along the Kolyma Highway, known as the “Road of Bones”.

The trip begins on solid roads, the Kolyma Highway built during the Stalin era and known as the “Road of Bones.” Everything happens in the truck: eating, sleeping, all of it with the engine and heaters left on at all times.

But even before they hit the ice, Ruslan begins regaling Chapple with stories of death on the road. At one bend in the road, Chapple hears the tale of a trucker who slid off the road and plummeted 70 meters to his death… comforting.

Ruslan and Gerrick asleep in the cab. Ruslan's truck is equipped with a powerful heater. With the temperatures at times hovering around zero it's uncomfortably hot through the night and windows can only be opened a crack.
Ruslan and Gerrick asleep in the cab. Ruslan’s truck is equipped with a powerful heater. With the temperatures at times hovering around zero it’s uncomfortably hot through the night and windows can only be opened a crack.
Even late in Spring, almost everything is done within the cab. This is lunch of instant noodles being served up by Ruslan.
Even late in Spring, almost everything is done within the cab. This is lunch of instant noodles being served up by Ruslan.

It isn’t long before the group runs into trouble. Ruslan greets a truck-sized ice hole by saying simply “that’s fresh” and finding a new route; but before long they find themselves breaking through the ice.

As Ruslan attempted to cross from one bank of the river to the other, the ice begins to crack. When the truck lurched into the ice on Chapple’s side, he was ready. Door cracked open, he jumped to safety.

Fortunately, the ice held, but it was a close call that Chapple captured on camera:

After seeing two places where trucks had recently plunged through the ice, we almost went through ourselves. After the chains were attached Ruslan managed to scrape back out of this situation and continue on.
After seeing two places where trucks had recently plunged through the ice, we almost went through ourselves. After the chains were attached Ruslan managed to scrape back out of this situation and continue on.
After seeing two places where trucks had recently plunged through the ice, we almost went through ourselves. After the chains were attached Ruslan managed to scrape back out of this situation and continue on.
After seeing two places where trucks had recently plunged through the ice, we almost went through ourselves. After the chains were attached Ruslan managed to scrape back out of this situation and continue on.

This is all that separates life and death on these roads: luck. Ruslan told too many tales of close calls and death while Chapple tried to focus on capturing their trip, a growing unease in his stomach as the trip wore on.

Below are a few more images that Chapple shared with us from his trip to Belaya Gora:

Ruslan with a picture of a colleagues truck which broke through the ice on a previous season. The driver of this was lucky and escaped without injury. Ruslan says "if your truck goes through nose first you're screwed".
Ruslan with a picture of a colleagues truck which broke through the ice on a previous season. The driver of this was lucky and escaped without injury. Ruslan says “if your truck goes through nose first you’re screwed”.
As the spring melt begins, water levels on the river start to rise, pushing through cracks in the ice. This can freeze overnight, forming a brittle layer above a bedrock of ice below. Ruslan referred to this kind of driving as "swimming".
As the spring melt begins, water levels on the river start to rise, pushing through cracks in the ice. This can freeze overnight, forming a brittle layer above a bedrock of ice below. Ruslan referred to this kind of driving as “swimming”.
A broad sweep of the Indigirka river, close to the town of Belaya Gora. Despite the pristine landscape most drivers, including Ruslan, toss their trash out onto the ice.
A broad sweep of the Indigirka river, close to the town of Belaya Gora. Despite the pristine landscape most drivers, including Ruslan, toss their trash out onto the ice.

You can read the full story and see many more photos (and video) at this link. It’s a terrifying tale that’ll have you grateful for every moment you spend on dry land, comfortable and not having to risk life and limb for a $600 pay day.


Image credits: All photographs by Amos Chapple and used with permission.