WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

Earth’s Environments

Chris Bray, Australia

Fire ice

As the helicopter lifted over the Icelandic landscape, Chris was astounded by its beauty, admiring it as ‘a smorgasbord of colourful craters, mountain ranges and river delta patterns’. Through the open doors of the helicopter, fighting the biting wind and turbulence, he captured the most dramatic sight of all – the fractured Mýrdalsjökull ice cap.

Spanning almost 600 square kilometres, the vast ice cap is more than 650 metres thick in places and conceals the top of Katla – a large, active volcano. On average, Katla erupts every 40–60 years, each time covering Mýrdalsjökull with a fine layer of ash that gives the ice its sooty appearance.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5DS R; 24–105mm f4 lens at 105mm; 1/1600 sec at f5; ISO 250.


Mýrdalsjökull ice cap, Iceland: latitude 63.646717, longitude -19.13051 Mýrdalsjökull ice cap, Iceland: latitude 63.646717, longitude -19.13051

Mýrdalsjökull ice cap, Iceland

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Chris Bray

Chris Bray, Australia

Chris is a nature photographer, photography tour guide and adventurer. He grew up sailing around the world before becoming an award-winning photographer for Australian Geographic and ambassador for Lowepro and Canon. He sits on the advisory committee for the Australian Geographic Society and is the founder and CEO of Conservation United, which aims to crowdfund critical conservation projects.