Camille Seaman spent 10 years photographing icebergs.
Beautiful, majestic and totally huge icebergs in the arctic.
And they are indeed melting.
But Camille sees all this as part of the cyclical nature of life. As these monoliths roll back into the ocean and their ice walls crash, they release water rich with minerals back into the environment. Minerals which have been stored for quite a while:
“Some of the ice in the icebergs that I photograph is very young — a couple thousand years old. And some of the ice is over 100,000 years old.”
She also sees them as much more than just inert cliff faces:
“I approach photographing these icebergs as if I’m making portraits of my ancestors,knowing that in these individual moments they exist in that way and will never exist that way again.”
I love the way Camille approaches her work, with respect and awe and wonder. Her photographs to me are marvellous in the true sense of the word.
Through travelling so far, across oceans and in often difficult terrain, to make her photographs, she seems to have a completely fresh perspective on time, measuring it in thousands of years, rather than in minutes or hours, like we tend to do in our daily lives.
Her work is full of drama and in many of the photographs the bergs take on personas – both lonely and connected, at once strikingly individual and fragile and daunting.
Looking at these images, I relate so much to that drama – it’s unfolding, shifting, playing out before our eyes, even though the image is static, a single moment in the huge vastness of time.
There’s a sense of constant movement – the ice shelf on top about to fall, the clouds behind about to storm, the surrounding sea about to make way. And all the while, there they so solidly and physically are – 120ft tall icebergs, slowly traversing their way around the arctic, playing their part in the whole scenario.
See more of Camille’s icebergs in this 4 minute TED talk:
And beyond the icebergs? Camille, based in the Southwest of the USA, has spent the past 5 years chasing storms, taking her camera right to the edge of the storm in order to capture the wonder of these equally natural and very dramatic events.
And so the drama continues to unfold – ice or wind – which one resonates most with your own sense of wonder?