The cold way up

“Climbing ancient glacial ice under the stars is one thing, but to have the aurora dance over our heads at the same time was unbelievable,” photographer Paul Zizka says of this shot he took of climber Raf Andronowski and belayer Jeff Thom. The two were ice climbing under the aurora borealis on the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. “I arranged to meet at the cave with Andronowski and Thom, but arrived quite a bit before they did,” Zizka says. “While I was there alone the sky exploded. I crossed my fingers to have the show go on until the arrival of the climbers, and more importantly, I proceeded to scout out different compositions so that we could proceed efficiently once they arrived.”

Zizka’s preparation paid off. Once his friends arrived, he told them where to go to get the best image. “I’ve worked with these skilled climbers before, so they know what they need to do and are very good at holding still,” he says. “The climbing itself was also extremely challenging. Both climbers are very experienced and commented that the severely overhanging, extremely brittle ice afforded some of the hardest climbing they had ever done.”
Reblogged from National Geographic

Under the stars

“So much of this shot came down to trust and luck,” says photographer Will Strathmann about this image, which he took of himself and a friend kayaking under the night sky on New Hampshire’s Squam Lake.
“I had to trust that my time-lapse was running and that the positioning of our kayaks was right. And I was lucky that the lake was calm enough for floating smoothly without movement and that the passing clouds didn’t obscure the stars,” he says.
To get the image, Strathmann set his camera on a tripod on the dock and used an intervalometer—a device that operates the camera’s shutter at set intervals—to take 13-second exposures every 14 seconds. He and his friend then paddled out on the lake to view the night sky. “The biggest challenge was remaining still enough so that motion blur didn’t ruin the image,” Strathmann notes. “It helps in these situations to have patient friends who support your passion and are willing to be your subjects.”
Reblogged from National Geographic