Earth Stories

A flock of Albatross over the Arctic Ocean. I spent a few days in Svalbard in Feb-March 2020, a Norwegian archipelago only a few hundred miles away from the North Pole. The light is celestial this time of year - it looks like sunrise all day long because the sun stays so low in the horizon. 
If the sea ice is already broken, boats are allowed to sail through it, but if it’s still intact, they’re not allowed to cut through it thanks to regulations from the Norwegian Climate Foundation. Polar bears need intact sea ice to hunt for food, otherwise they resort to other methods - they start approaching towns and people, which doesn’t always end well for both bear and human.
-40 degrees celsius with wind chill. Ice-free areas of the Arctic Ocean absorb more heat from the sun and become warmer. When the humidity at the surface reaches a threshold the moisture is released into the atmosphere as water vapour. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas - more reason to save the ice.
This is a special halo called a parhelion or ‘sun dog’ caused by the refraction of sunlight by ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. I came across this one in Lapland, Finland. Parhelia can occur anywhere in the world but are best seen where the sun is near the horizon.
Sitting atop the Lampivaara hill in Pyhä-Luosto in Lapland, Finland, this mine is currently the only active amethyst mine in Europe. The amethyst in this region was formed over 2 billion years ago, making it almost half as old as Earth. The mine only uses traditional mining techniques with small tools (chisels, pans) to minimise environmental damage, and visitors are allowed to participate in this mining process and take home one piece of amethyst. 
The winter sun sits low in the horizon in this two-month-long exposure from my window sill in Cambridge, UK (Dec-Feb). You can see the full path the sun takes from east to west, where each trail represents a new day. The trails are very condensed here because it was taken during wintertime, but as the sun travels further up the horizon after the winter solstice, the trails start to get higher and higher. They reach their peak height during the summer solstice in June. I took this photo using special film that’s only sensitive to direct sunlight.
The sky over the UK was bathed in an eerie red glow on the 16th of October 2017 when Hurricane Ophelia made its way here from the Atlantic carrying tropical heat and Saharan dust.
Kiruna is a sleepy town in Swedish Lapland where the sun barely rises in January (90 miles north of the Arctic Circle). It almost looks like twilight time all day long. This was the moment we arrived at our accommodation after pulling our luggage uphill for a mile. My friends and I were staying in one of those houses behind the trees. Sitting atop one of the world’s largest iron ore deposits, Kiruna was a flourishing mining town in the 20th century. Sadly, Kiruna is now sinking due to all the mining tunnels that were dug underneath it, and so the whole town is in the process of being relocated.
This photo was chosen to be part of the Royal Photographic Society’s 161st International Exhibition and exhibited in the Royal Albert Hall in June 2019. It was taken in the Dead Sea in Jordan, one of the world’s oldest natural health resorts. Despite its ominous name, the Dead Sea used to be one of my favourite places when I was little. I grew up less than an hour away from it and have regularly gone back to shoot some photos there. Every time I go back, I am alarmed by how much smaller the sea looks - it is disappearing at a staggering rate. The sea level is decreasing remarkably, revealing sinkholes and wreaking havoc in the local ecosystem. The sea is such a small dot on the map now that I feel a strong compulsion to capture it as the magnificent place I remember it to be.
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