Context: A few years ago I was insanely phobic about heights. It was so severe that I couldn’t even ascend a ladder without going into a panic. Flash-forward a few years of (wild) travel photography assignments and photographing NYC from precarious rooftops and angles all over Manhattan and Brooklyn and somehow I moved from phobia to intense fascination. This shot was taken after a helicopter ride to the Chapman Glacier on Ellesmere Island in the Arctic. It’s something that if you asked me about if I would not only take a helicopter above ice, water, and mountains in the Arctic a few years ago, I would have vigorously shook my head no. And yet, I had my first ever helicopter ride on this trip (and then many more) and the adrenaline and awe of flying to remote locations (with awesome people!) is something I would never trade for anything else.
This photo was taken by Norman Chan from Tested and it’s one of the most beautiful places I have been to. The sun slid across the snow from between two mountain peaks and the ice crystals shone like millions of bits of glitter and gemstones. I have never felt more alive and in tune with nature than on this trip in moments like these. It made me realize how much I love to be encompassed by the fullness of vast nothingness and how much I love to push my body and mind to the limit. The Arctic is part of our planet and we depend on it (something I will address in other posts). That one-way dependence and the ephemeral reality of the current state of the North struck me in a profound way. I am working on photos today but just wanted to share the thoughts as they flood out of my mind onto the keys. (at Chapman Glacier (glaciär i Kanada, Nunavut))