Image via TED video screengrab
Camilee Seaman is an expert in photographing icebergs -- chunks of ancient glaciers afloat in freezing waters. She notes that photographing them is like taking portraits of an ancestor, since they are not only ancient, but also constantly changing, and disappearing. In a recent TED talk, she displays some of the images she's taken, and they are truly spectacular. After listening to her talk, I realize that photographing these bergs is like photographing a threatened species -- you don't know how long the berg will be around, and in the bigger picture, we don't know how much longer major glaciers, the mothers of icebergs, will be around.
Earlier this year, the Tasman Glacier lost 30 million tons of ice after a 6.3 earthquake in New Zealand, sending all that ice into Terminal Lake as icebergs. In 2009, a large flotilla of over 100 icebergs had carved off the Antarctic ice floe and drifted toward New Zealand -- it was the largest since 2006, and 1931 before that. The faster glaciers melt and cleave off icebergs, the more apparent global climate change becomes. Still, we have a lot of years left of marveling at the beauty of these stoic bergs. Here is Seaman's talk:
Another wonderful photographer of icebergs is David Burdeny, whose work shows that icebergs are floating sculptures that are becoming increasingly endangered.
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