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White Thunder by Isquiesque White Thunder by Isquiesque
One last photograph from my Alaska archives this evening, just so something with a bit more color and flair can be seen under the 'Recent Deviations' portion of my page: the "oh so obligatory if you're going to be shooting photographs in southeastern Alaska" image of a glacier calving.

This is a photograph of one of my favorite things/places to be on this planet - the Hubbard Glacier. It's the longest tidewater glacier in North America, over seventy miles long, and this is a photograph taken at its face, where it meets Yakutat Bay near the Gulf of Alaska. The splash in the photograph is a calving event - ice falling from the front of the glacier into the water, the birth of ice bergs. Don't let the photograph fool you - I would estimate that the ice is falling from a height of nearly one hundred feet and that the resulting splash is somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty feet high. (I took this from a boat, heavy on the zoom... it would be dangerous indeed to be too close.)

The title of the photograph, White Thunder, is a turn of phrase borrowed from the Tlingit Indians, the people who live near this glacier. They use it to refer to the sound created by the calving of the ice, and it's difficult to imagine unless you've stood near it, watched it happen, felt the sound travel straight through you - but it sounds exactly like the thunder of a storm. It's the perfect description of a glacier meeting water, of a river of ice pouring itself forcefully into the sea.
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:iconindojo:
indojo Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
wow, this is really one of the most spectacular nature-events
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:iconkozywozy:
kozywozy Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2006
I am so jealous of you! having wittnessed something like that!
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
I was truly blessed to live near such a place. Thank you for your comment!
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:iconholgavision:
HolgaVision Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2005   Photographer
Beautiful photo. I've seen shots like this before, and always wondered where the blue colors come from. Is it the sky showing through or just the color of the water that has been frozen? Again very cool shot. I can almost here the thunder. T
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you.

The blue comes from the extreme density of the ice, which is created not through freezing so much as extreme pressure - much the same way that a snowball pressed tightly in your hands can become rock hard. When light passes through, lower energy light particles (red, yellow) are trapped, but blue can pass through and be seen.
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:iconholgavision:
HolgaVision Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2005   Photographer
Wow, being from the south US, I can really dazzle people the next time that question is asked. Thanks...T
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Heehee. My pleasure.
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:iconsinister-light:
Sinister-Light Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2005
Great shot, lovely composition and colours. The contrasting textures is great, I especially like the water splash
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
And thank you again for the :+fav:!
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much.
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:iconpearwood:
pearwood Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful. It's been 30 years since I saw Yakatat, back when I was flying Arny helicopters out of Ft. Rich. What I remember was having it snow 12+ inches and in the morning folks looked out and shrugged, "Oh, it snowed last night." I also remember there being so many eagles as to be a flight hazard. Gorgeous country.
Steve (now in Rochester, NY where it doesn't snow nearly as much)
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Ha! That's classic - and not that far from reality! I had a winter there where there wasn't really much snow on the ground, and a winter where there were long periods of five-plus feet on the ground, but I never really had one of the "bad" winters, where there was more like 10-12 feet and people's doors wouldn't open due to the pressure of the snow on the roof so they'd have to go shovel the roof. Average snowfall in that location is about eighteen feet a season (though rarely/never all on the ground at one time). And yes, eagles a plenty.

Thanks for the comment, and the compliment, Steve!
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:iconpearwood:
pearwood Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Where are you located now?
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Well, right this second I'm in Georgia on business - a detail of sorts that will last until March. While I'd rather be back home, which is presently Skagway, Alaska (about 200 miles east of Yakutat, 100 miles north of Juneau), I hear I'm missing some pretty windy weather (as is the standard for winter there).
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:iconpearwood:
pearwood Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Sound like the reverse of my switch when I went from Army flight school at Fort Rucker, AL to Fort Rich. I went through several iterations of winter and spring that year. :)
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:iconolethros:
olethros Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005
That's just too cool. I can't comment on the artistic bit, really, since I never tried to take a picture of icebergs crashing. It looks neat. Thanks for sharing.
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
That's just too cool. OH THE PUN ;)

Thanks for the comment/compliment, ~olethros!
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:iconolethros:
olethros Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005
I have perfected the act of punning to such a superhuman degree that I now perform spectacular punning feats wholly subconsciously.
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:icontrinny2812:
trinny2812 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005   Photographer
Absolutely beautiful, the blue and purple in the ice are lovely and the composition works really well! :clap:
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so very much - and thanks indeed for the :+fav:!
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:iconkadok003:
Kadok003 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2005   Photographer
thats a sweet ic formation and great shot of it falling in

way cool

check my stuff & tell me what you think?

thanks
EC
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you.
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:iconr-b:
R-B Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2005   Digital Artist
What a lovely photo...hard to imagine the scale of the thing really....but the colours are lovely, nice subtle shades of blue :)
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you.
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:iconbarahirofladros:
BarahirofLadros Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2005
That is indeed a detailed and beautiful photo. Looks like just the right time for the picture.
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you.

While I did press the shutter at an opportune time, I have to give the glacier a lot of credit here - it calves like this near-constantly. We floated near the face for quite awhile, definitely over half an hour, with the engine cut so we could hear the thunder, and it would calve like this at least every two or three minutes. The trick was whether or not the calving event was in sight and within zoom - since the face of this thing is over six miles wide (it's insane, the size... really incomprehensible, really, given that it's all just ice and bits of rock). The other big factor is how good your eyes are - from so far away, if you wait until you hear it calve, you're generally too late.
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:iconkidscruff:
kidscruff Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2005
great shot....all the different shades of blue in the ice and water...all the different textures made by them too...amazing to think that that is all water...doing what it does best and showing off. love this.
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks. It's indeed a sight to see. For a bit of extra jealousy in the mean time: your brother was with me the day I took this shot. I think he was slightly impressed with the experience. We'll get you up to the face of one of these things one day, I'm sure. Even if we move from Alaska, it'll always be worth going back.
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November 29, 2005
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