nickcobbing nickcobbing

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Nick Cobbing  Environment/ science/ polar regions. Contributor to National Geographic Magazine @natgeoexpeditions & @thephotosociety

Soon to be exhibited at the @photoespana_ festival: An Iceberg off the coast of Greenland. Swipe across to see a detail of the surface polished by salt water washing over the floating ice from the surrounding ocean. Natural sculptures! Photo Espana held this summer in Madrid from the 6th June to 26th August.
#ice #photoespaña #photoespana #arctic #naturalsculpture #nature #arctic

I’m looking forward to getting back to The Arctic this summer and seeing some more of these guys if we’re lucky. I’ll be working with @natgeoexpeditions onboard the #natgeoexplorer. It’s going to be an interesting year for the ice bears of Svalbard. The ice charts are showing lots of open water around the archipelago and The Norwegian Ice Service have been announcing record lows for sea ice cover via their Twitter feed. While that might be useful for ships navigating the north of the islands, it’s not so good for ice associated species like this polar bear.

#polarbear #icebear #arctic #seaice #ice #adventure #expedition #arcticocean

On this journey last summer, I joined researchers searching for bowhead whales off the coast of east Greenland. Although ice strengthened, small ships like this one can’t break through thick ice and rely on the pilot’s knowledge and experience to pick through gaps in the ice floes, known as ‘leads’. It’s a tactical process and a good ice pilot is essential to an expedition’s success. In these clips you can see ship’s crew catching up with maintenance while the scientists look out for signs of whales. Scientists predict that the Arctic Ocean will likely be ice free in the summers, within thirty to forty years -it could be sooner than that. This winter after the ice reached its maximum extent for the year, was another record low in sea ice cover -when viewed over the decades. The job will be very different for the next generation of Arctic seafarers, navigating an Arctic Ocean that is fundamentally altered in structure by climate change.
#icepilot #ship #arctic #arcticocean #seaice #icebreaking #adventure #expedition

This picture illustrated a recent story in @guardian newspaper about a slowdown in Atlantic circulation. It was originally commissioned by @greenpeace The Guardian’s byline says it was photographed by me -but when I saw it in the newspaper I didn’t immediately recognise it. From a big shoot I will keep a ‘select’ of fifty or so of the best images and then archive the thousands of other raw files on my server. I’ll work with my select intensively and often forget the rest. Sometimes my clients will pull out extra pictures that weren’t in my original select -it’s all about taste after all.

Some pictures are like people -they can have a life of their own, going on a journey from my camera through commissioning organisations, publishers and news media. I try to keep track of them, but sometimes I have to let them go a bit. Soon I will go back to the full shoot on my server and double-check through -maybe this image needs to come back into the select!

The image shows part of the Greenland ice sheet, specifically the edge of a melt lake with pieces of broken ice on the surface. The image was made by suspending a camera remotely under a helicopter, with the shutter fired by a timer switch.

#ice #snow #climatechange #greenland #melt #freezing #adventure #arctic

They didn’t go any further than this and it was probably wise! Two tiny red dots when viewed on Instagram, dwarfed by a cathedral of ice. I took a sequence of pictures quickly before my friends returned safely to the boat. Very tempting to clamber onto, but it’s best not to ‘play’ with icebergs. These dynamic structures can shift in the water and calve off pieces without much warning. A magnificent arch like this one is temporary, which makes it even more exiting to see. They are like artworks in progress, being shaped by the elements over time, until eventually they are absorbed into the ocean without trace.

#iceberg #structure #arctic #glacial #glaciology #greenland #adventure #adventuretime #climatechange #polar #epic #naturelovers

These chinstrap penguins have to use all their strength to swim through the strong currents off this beach, at Bailey Head in Antarctica. For the survival of themselves and their young, they have to swim out into the ocean to feed on krill. Swipe across to see the penguins returning from the ocean. Because this shoreline faces open ocean with no shelter from the swell, the force of the waves crashing on the beach are challenging for penguins and humans alike. Landing on this particular spot tests the most experienced boat drivers. I’m very grateful to my colleagues for having the skill and courage to land a zodiac safely nearby. Good shipmates of @natgeoexpeditions aboard the #natgeoorion last December. Thanks also to @zeisscameralenses for the loan of the 85mm Batis! This image looks as though I’ve converted it to black & white, but it’s actually in full colour, the sands around Deception Island are black due to it being the caldera of an (inactive) volcano.

#penguin #antarctica #deceptionisland #ocean #wild #nature #naturephotography #naturelovers #landscape

Two polar bear cubs in their first few months of life follow their mother over the Arctic Ocean sea ice. (swipe across to see their mother) During the two and a half years alongside their mother, the cubs must learn to hunt seals for themselves if they are to survive. The most important element in this picture is the landscape -the sea ice surrounding this polar bear family is so much more than a backdrop for a photograph. The frozen ocean they are travelling on supports the survival of many Arctic species; an entire food web depends on this terrain. I made this picture last summer, as I write polar bears will soon be emerging from their dens around the Arctic.

@norskpolarinstitutt @thephotosociety
#polarbear #ice #climatechange #seaice #nature #wild #svalbard #Arctic #naturephotography #naturelovers

Here’s a behind the scenes image from working on Svalbard. That’s ace cameraman @richardkirbyphotography on the left and our guide and camera assistant Tom, they’re setting up two @reddigitalcinema cameras, using the pre-roll function to capture a glacier calving. Swipe to see part of the scene through their viewfinder. This is a relatively small glacier calving, but even a small quantity of ice creates a big effect in the surrounding area. Waves would come up to the rocks towards the cameras after each calving event. For glaciers to calve is normal, but with climate change many of Svalbard’s glaciers have been shown to be ‘retreating’ leaving newly exposed ground or deeper fjords in their wake.

#ice #svalbard #glacier #onlocation #filming #behindthescenes #bts #behindthelens #filmcrew #cinematographer #jasonrobertsproductions

Love your planet
It’s the only one you’ve got

A juvenile king penguin soon to acquire its adult feathers. Question for you: young king penguins have been given a nickname which refers to the colour and texture of their feathers -who can tell me what this is and where the name comes from? Swipe for more pictures. Photographed on the Island of South Georgia whilst working with @natgeoexpeditions last December.

#nature #naturephotography #wild #wildlife #wildlifephotography #antarctica #bird #birdsofinstagram #featheredfriends #furry #naturelovers @thephotosociety

Moving my iPhone really fast, and suddenly the dense forests that surround Stockholm feel different. I can hide the damp, cold, slushy ground and merge floodlights with tree trunks. Walking back from his kindergarten, my son said he didn’t like the picture, because it was scary, so we hurried home from the monsters in the trees. #iphoneonly #nofilter #forest #blurry #monstersinthetrees

Our local lake, just on the edge of Stockholm, after several nights of freezing temperatures, with a layer of snow. This weekend all seemed in agreement that it was solid enough. Kids played, some skied, while other cut holes for ice fishing. #winter #frozen #frozenlake #winterwonderland #winterdays

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