Ice Sculptures

As promised yesterday here are the next photos from my recent Winter vacation to northern Norway in mid February. One location of that trip was the city of Alta, which is the largest city in the region of Finnmark.

18mm  f/10  1/250sec  ISO200
On our walk through the city we came to the beautiful and futuristic looking church. I will post more photos of it later. As I learned later, this is the newly built Northern Lights Cathedral and we were arriving there just after the consecration ceremony. A lot of people in traditional clothes were coming out of the church and one of them must have been the Crown Princess of Norway, Mette Marit. This explains all the TV teams and photographers around there. In front of the church there were placed a lot of sculptures completely made of ice. With the low Winter sun shining through the ice blocks it was a fantastic sight.

35mm  f/13  1/400sec  ISO200
I had to wait some time until all people have left the entrance area and therefore I had some time to study and enjoy all the beautiful sculptures. There were several aspects that I found special. One thing was the glowing appearance of the ice blocks and sculptures when looking against the light and hiding the sun behind the ice. This way the shape of engravings and figures came out nicely. When looking at sculptures of the opposite row you do not have the glowing but due to the blue sky background the ice blocks looked very cold. Most interesting aspect was refraction of the background in the figure's heads and wings. Together with all the tiny air bubbles enclosed in the clear frozen water this looks simply awesome.

32mm  f/10  1/320sec  ISO200
35mm  f/11  1/400sec  ISO200

43mm  f/5  1/320sec  ISO200
But, not only the ice sculptures were interesting. Near the entrance they have created some short alley of candle light columns, also made of ice. There was a hollow ice sphere placed on a block of ice and within the sphere they have put a candle. To see the little candle flame through the clear frozen water was beautiful. The warm flame color gave a nice contrast to the cold ice color.

All the photos were taken with my EOS 600D and my EF-S 18-55mm kit zoom lens. With the first 4 photos the camera was set into P mode and calculated aperture and shutter speed automatically. For the last one I turned the camera into Av mode with aperture set to lowest possible value to get a nice depth of field with the candle light columns. ISO was fixed at 200 all the time.