“There is an ethereal, otherworldly feeling to this photograph, as this little island in the middle of Tumuch Lake in northern British Columbia appears as if it’s floating in the clouds,” says Shane Kalyn, who submitted this photo to the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.
The scene was amazing to witness, let alone be lucky enough to photograph—totally the right place at the right time.”
This photo and caption were submitted to the 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.
Hôtel de Glace. Photo by | Copyright: Creative Commons
Contributor: atimian (Editor)
Comprised of 15,000 tons of snow and 500,000 tons of ice, the Hôtel de Glace is a massive undertaking, yet each spring it completely disappears.
With only a four-month lifespan, the Ice Hotel takes a month and a half and 60 full-time workers to finish its rooms, but the result is a spectacular blend of chilly, natural architecture and ambient pastel light.
Altogether, the hotel features 85 bedrooms along with a club, art gallery, and even a chapel that usually hosts a handful of weddings.
Every inch of the hotel is created out of ice, including the furniture.
To make the rooms more livable, beds are covered with furs, blankets and sleeping bags tested to arctic temperatures.
The only areas of the hotel that are heated are a few outdoor bathrooms, along with a few outdoor hot tubs to add to the experience.
Considered an example of a pure ice structure, the hotel is not supported by anything except the icy walls, which can be as thick as four feet to insulate the hotel.
Although you might not get four-star service, the Hôtel de Glace is certainly a unique experience as it changes in layout and complexity every year.
“Working alone and out in remote locations is always time-consuming, and it involves a lot of back and forth to get the shot,” says Paul Zizka of this self-portrait he took in a kayak on Goat Lake in the Canadian Rockies.
“I had been planning on visiting this location for some time, and on this night the conditions were perfect.
The stars danced across the surface of the lake, and it felt like I was gliding through the night sky.
”Shooting a self-portrait at night isn’t without its challenges, Zizka says. Keeping yourself still enough in a kayak so the camera can catch a sharp exposure is particularly daunting.
“I propped the kayak on top of a rock to help stabilize it once I was in the frame. It took a few tries, but eventually I got a frame with sharp focus that I could be happy with.”
Congratulations if you said Wood Buffalo National Park, located in north-eastern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories.
Established in 1922 to help protect northern Canada’s last remaining bison herds, today the 44,807-square-kilometre park – bigger than Switzerland – is regarded as an outstanding example of the country’s northern boreal plains.
The park is the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve – which means this just might be the most star-filled sky you ever see in your life.
It is also a great place to view the cosmic fireworks known as the aurora borealis – the northern lights.
Photograph by Brad Josephs (all images courtesy Natural Habitat Adventures)
The Arctic tundra is one of those places that evokes pure awe with its vast sparkling landscapes and wildlife unlike any other on earth.
Amid the frozen wonderland is the town of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, where every fall the mouth of the Hudson Bay freezes over, creating an ice bridge used by polar bears looking to cross over to higher hunting grounds.
From October to November, the bears gather at this spot waiting for the bridge to form, and since 2003 Natural Habitat Adventures has been giving people the opportunity to view these majestic creatures during their brief layover.
The domicile for this excursion is the Tundra Lodge, a 32-room hotel-on-wheels that drives out onto a stretch of this frigid terrain at the beginning of each polar bear season, allowing guests to spend four days of their trip eating and sleeping in the presence of polar bears.
The Tundra Lodge has been designed specifically for the viewing of the bears and other wildlife with private windows in each of the rooms and additional sliding windows in both the lounge and dining cars accessible to everyone on board.
Outdoor viewing platforms and steel mesh flooring in between the cars of the Tundra Lodge give additional chances to have some one-on-one face time with intrigued polar bears that often explore the windows, tires, or viewing platforms, with the bears as curious about the people inside as the guests are about them.
As with any fishing trip, trolling the Great White North for char, smelt and salmon requires a pole, bait and enough beer to keep your buddies in good spirits.
But given the potential for -40° temperatures and howling winds, Canadian anglers insist on shelter, too.
Not that it has to be sophisticated.
The basic requirements include a roof, four walls, and a hole cut in the floor through which to lure the catch of the day.
Scrap plywood and repurposed two-by-fours constitute the most popular materials. Indoor amenities range from a woodstove or propane heater to a kitchenette or satellite TV.
Though Quebecois are known for kitsch and Newfoundlanders for dogged wit, a certain patriotic scrappiness reigns supreme, which is why Toronto architectural photographer Richard Johnson turned his lens toward the makeshift homesteads.
“All the work I do for architects is highly polished,” he explains.
“I was drawn to ice huts because they are crooked and textured and every one is so different.
”Beyond Photoshopping out the inevitable yellow pee stains around these man caves, Johnson took a hyperrealistic approach—employing a straight-on angle, gray-sky lighting and a chest-high horizon line—to bring the unique qualities of each shack into sharp focus.
“I see them as portraits of the hut owners without the owners present.”