Notes from our Eastern Greenland Photography Adventure / Aug 2016

All images made with the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujinon lenses. Images and text are @Jack Graham and Jack Graham Photography LLC

NEXT GREENLAND PHOTO WORKSHOP is SEPTEMBER 3-8 2018

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Why go to Greenland? If you really want to feel like you are removed from the craziness of the rest of the world, this is the place for you. For us photographers, it’s a paradise.

I took a group of photographers with me. They were all real troopers. They were really great and accepted Greenland for what it is. We all had to deal with getting in and out of boats on rocks or piers that require climbing, non-western facilities, some strange food and smaller than usual sleeping accommodations. We all felt that we lived like the locals do, which is pretty cool.

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There are two areas of Greenland, the western area and the eastern area. The population is far lower in the east where it’s a bit harder to live. Due to weather and the topography.  Here are a few facts about Eastern Greenland:

  • Greenland is the world’s largest island
  • 85% of Greenland is covered in ice
  • Thought geographically, Greenland is part of North America but it’s a part of Denmark and feels like you are in Europe.
  • Out of a total population of around 56,000 for the entire country, about 3,000 or so live in the Ammassalik area of Eastern Greenland. The largest town is Tasiilaq, population around 2,100.
  • There are no roads. You get around by foot or by boat.
  • You can fly into Kulusuk from Iceland (fares are not cheap) then go by boat to small towns in the area.
  • The population is mostly Inuit that migrated from the north in the 14th and 15th century.
  • _DSF9576Dogs are everywhere. These are sled dogs, not the kind of pets we know in the US. They are working dogs and provide transportation through the heavy snow in the winter.

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We flew from Reykjavik to Kulusuk but at the very last-minute the pilot aborted the landing due to fog and rain. The runway in Kulusuk is dirt, not pavement. After a day back in Reykjavik we finally made it back to Kulusuk then immediately got into our two boats and headed for a small town about 2-3 hrs. away called Tinit.

 

 

 

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_DSF0071-Edit-EditPeople live in small colorful houses in eastern Greenland. The Danish government assigns house color by occupation. Red are government workers, school teachers, administrators etc. Blue are for a type of engineer, Green are for another type of engineer and yellow are for health care providers (doctors and nurses). The indigenous Greenlanders feed their families and dogs by hunting whales, fish and seals. There is a grocery store in each village. Food is imported from Denmark from April through October. Weather prevents boats from landing in the winter. Food can be pretty scarce later in the winter. The Inuits do not waste anything. Yes the food we were presented with was traditional. We actually stayed in the blue house on the left (above image)—What a view!

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The following morning provided us with a remarkable sunrise. After breakfast we headed out by boat up the fjord to capture the magnificent icebergs. We were quite surprised to be able to see and photograph the humpback whales surfacing, then diving right in front of us.

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After one final night in Tinit, we headed out again by boat to photograph and explore the fjord on the way to the town of Tasiilaq. We were able to land the boat on the rocks and hop off and photograph a beautiful glacier and the fjord. This was one of the most beautiful glaciers I’ve ever seen.

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Click HERE for a short video of us sailing through the ice on the way to the glacier

We made it to Tasiilaq and were rewarded with a decent aurora at night by August standards. On our last night we sailed out to the largest icebergs I’ve ever seen. I am guessing this was about 20-30 stories tall! The late light was amazing and just kept getting better and better.

 

We finished our journey with one last night in Kulusuk before flying back to Reykjavik.

 

Below are some images from our trip. Enjoy them… I sure did making them….Jack

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