When landscape photographer Albert Dros travelled to Greenland, he was immediately struck by two things; the incredible beauty of the country’s abstract ice-caps, standing like modernist sea-side sculptures, and the harsh reality that they are disappearing at a faster rate than anyone predicted.
This summer in Greenland was amongst one of the hottest ever recorded. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, warm air from Europe’s heat wave towards the end of July caused “melt runoff (that) was estimated at 55 billion tons during the interval, or about 40 billion tons more than the 1981 to 2010 average for the same time period.”
“I have been wanting to go to Greenland for quite some time. I had already spent quite some time in the Arctic, mainly Iceland and Norway. I love the cold. This combined with the recent global warming issues getting more severe, it was time to go to Greenland,” Albert told Lonely Planet.
The photographer stayed at Ilulissat for two weeks, a destination that he said was relaxed and laid back. Despite this, he said that tourism seemed to be booming, with visitors and cruise ships from different countries being a very apparent presence. “It’s no surprise that people want to see it. It’s beautiful. The amazing ice you see in the sea is unreal. With the midnight sun’s colours hitting the ice and a beautiful palette in the sky, it’s like being in a dream world. Sailing through the ice fjord is magical.”
Albert was there to guide two photo tours, where he took two small sailboats around the area. Travelling this way, he really got a sense of the scale of the moving icebergs in the sea. According to Albert, the shifting nature of them meant that he could explore new landscape at the same location every day, and he went on the hunt for icebergs with interesting shapes, arches and holes in them.
“With this project I aimed to show the beauty of the country in my own way. It’s like creating art out of nature. We position and navigate our sailboats through the ice, sometimes taking hours to find a good composition or iceberg. The results are photos that seem unreal. By using clever placement of the sailboats, we create scale, emotion and a certain atmosphere. With global warming, it’s really something that we should be aware of even more. This is not only about Greenland. This is about our whole planet.”
More of Albert’s work is available at his official website.