Ilulissat, Greenland – The Best Photography Experiences in Ilulissat


Capture the Magic of Greenland in Ilulissat

Ilulissat is someplace it’s essential go to in your lifetime if you happen to’re into icebergs and all issues arctic. Frozen pure wonders meet a tradition that’s as fascinating as it’s vibrant forming a photogenic dreamscape of prospects.

As Greenland’s third largest metropolis, Ilulissat is house to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ilulissat Icefjord the place the world’s quickest shifting glacier funnels icebergs in the direction of Disko Bay. It’s a sight that’s laborious to understand upon first glace. It’s sheer scale, shapes, patterns and the huge whiteness can take just a few days to essentially take in so make sure to plan for not less than 5 days!

Basing your self in Ilulissat is a good way to make sure you can reap the benefits of the various excursions and mountain climbing routes that start on the town. Having spent two weeks exploring the area in July, I’ve put collectively this information of photogenic experiences must you want somewhat inspiration to your personal journey.

Ilulissat Greenland Photography Locations


Midnight Sun Icefjord Cruise

Prepare your self for what might be probably the greatest evenings of your life. No query.
Before you’ve barely left the harbour at 10pm, the boat might be cruising previous floating icebergs, some the scale of a dinner plate, others the scale of a 5 story constructing. There’s really no comparability for this expertise and if you happen to’re a photographer, be able to free your thoughts.

The Ilulissat Icefjord is the place large icebergs which have calved off the Kangia Glacier are caught, forming an ice financial institution of huge frozen constructions. As they slowly soften and break up, the icebergs drift out to sea of Disko Bay earlier than the Atlantic Ocean. Size, distinction and true pure magnificence is clear in all instructions because the boat cruises alongside icebergs as much as 60m in peak.

During the summer season months humpback whales are sometimes sighted amongst the fjord too, gracefully spouting and forming bubble nets a lot to the delight of hovering seagulls.

On board the World of Greenland’s boat you may get up on deck and seize the surroundings with spectacular views all spherical. I extremely advocate trialling each the highest and again of the underside deck to make sure you get a mixture of panorama photographs from water stage and in any other case.

Photo tip: Take quite a lot of lenses so you may alternate your composition all through the cruise. Having a flexible lens just like the M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lens will allow you to concentrate on each particulars and panorama pictures as you move the icebergs. Some moments, reminiscent of whales breaching or icebergs calving can occur rapidly so make sure to preserve your eyes peeled and set off prepared.

Ilulissat Greenland Photography Locations Ilulissat Greenland Photography Locations

Kayak amongst Humpback Whales

A kayak tour in Ilulissat is difficult to elucidate in phrases so it’s fortunate I’ve bought some images of the expertise huh!? Let’s simply begin with the one which’ll promote you right away…

Ilulissat Greenland Photography Locations

Above you’ll see humpback whales coming to the floor proper in entrance of a bunch of kayakers. Crazy, proper? Tucked inside a dry swimsuit, you’ll be toasty heat whereas paddling on the chilly arctic water but when this second occurs, it’s possible you’ll must take somewhat breather to chill down.

Being on the water generally is a ravishing environment however to paddle beside icebergs because the kayak gently rocks over the small swell and anticipation builds with whales capable of seem at any second is one thing else. Both equally enjoyable and adrenaline pumping.

The quiet you’ll expertise on the water is barely interrupted by spouting whales and smooth strokes breaking the water floor or, if you happen to’re actually fortunate, the awe inspiring sound of a calving iceberg.

Led by an skilled kayaking skilled, you’ll be guided alongside the coast from the harbour in the direction of the Ilulissat Icefjord underneath the rays of the midnight solar. If you’re visiting in July, the solar received’t attain the horizon, as an alternative offering limitless very best images situations. Warm night daylight shimmers throughout the water floor…it’s really spectacular.

Recommended tour – Kayaking Experience with World of Greenland

Photo tip: Because it’s vital to in fact concentrate on paddling your kayak, somewhat waterproof/motion digital camera might be your best choice for this tour. The Olympus TG-6 lets you seize RAW recordsdata, video and can deal with the freezing chilly situations like somewhat champ.
One factor to strive when you’re capable of get that near the water is a split-level shot. You can learn my information to photographing split-level landscapes right here however primarily simply dip your digital camera in so the water stage sits half approach up the lens. There’s no a lot to see beneath the floor (until a whale passes shut by) however the motion of the water will present an important angle with distinctive composition.


Sermemiut Historic Hike

Classified as a World Heritage web site in 2004, the Sermemiut Settlement is positioned beside the Icefjord, only a quick stroll from the township of Ilulissat. For 4000 years, numerous Inuit cultures and communities residing on the settlement of which you’ll be able to nonetheless see stays throughout the panorama.

Due to its reputation and likewise that it varieties a part of the blue path mountain climbing route, you may enterprise alongside the boardwalk your self at any time or decide to do a tour with a World of Greenland information. Having a information to share tales of the life and traditions provides to the expertise of imagining simply what life would’ve been like contained in the turf huts.

Icebergs type a powerful backdrop because the walkway leads in the direction of Nakkaavik, referred to as ‘the place to fall’. The viewpoint is a rocky cliff the place a stunning but selfless act befell centuries in the past. Women from the Inuit communities residing at Sermemiut would throw themselves off the cliff once they believed they had been a burden to society. Something that till you’ve seen the tough surroundings they lived in would sound completely loopy. The males would as an alternative wander into the panorama, by no means to be seen once more.

Photo tip: The hike isn’t too demanding so you may take a digital camera bag together with your complete package inside. You’ll need each a large angle lens to {photograph} the settlement and horizon of icebergs, plus a zoom to seize the element of the Icefjord earlier than you.

Photograph Whales on Safari

Witness two pure wonders collectively, icebergs and whales on a sea safari. Cruise the Ilulissat Icefjord the place whales collect as krill are stirred up by the churning currents throughout summer season.

Your captain will slowly enterprise across the icebergs on the look out for distant spouts of water or flocks of seagulls indicating whales could also be shut by. Keeping in fixed contact with native fisherman, the probabilities of seeing whales are very excessive so seize a seat on the highest deck (put on a number of layers) and have your digital camera able to go!

The coastal waters of Greenland see about 15 species of whale all year long nevertheless the most typical sightings are of the Humpback whales and if you happen to’re fortunate, you might even see a minke or fin whale. With the humpback fairly energetic within the water, you’ll must have your digital camera able to go for any fin or tail slaps together with the at all times spectacular breaching.

When photographing the whales on this area, I used to be fascinated by how the seagulls work with them to gather krill that get discarded into the air. Not solely are they onto an excellent technique, they make for a incredible extra topic inside photographs, additional enhancing the motion of a picture and dimension of the whale.

Photo tip: Due to the unpredictability of the place and when the whales will seem, it’s vital to have a dependable zoom lens accessible on this journey. I photographed with the 40-150mm f2.8 on the Olympus E-M1 MKII and likewise had the 300mm f4 professional lens on the E-M1X to ensure I lined all bases.
Using the icebergs inside your composition is a good way so as to add to the story of your picture. Their patterns and contrasting white color in opposition to the ocean and black whales creates a ravishing panorama scene!

Read extra – The Benefits of a Zoom Lens While Travelling

Wander the Colourful Streets of Ilulissat

You’ve heard of the yellow brick street however in Ilulissat the rainbow-like skyline could have you composing pictures and skipping alongside the streets throughout city.
When timber kits had been initially despatched from Scandinavia to Greenland, the homes had been painted in daring colors to symbolize their operate. Red was industrial, yellow signalled a hospital, blue was for fishing and black, the police station.

Now you’ll discover colors each shade of the rainbow (or Pantone palette) scattering the hillside overlooking the waters of Disko Bay. The custom of portray each homes and industrial buildings in daring tones has continued though now the illustration isn’t as actual illustration of operate. Instead, they type a vibrant city that’s value exploring simply as a lot because the icefjord you’ve little doubt come to see.

World of Greenland operates strolling excursions all through the summer season months in Ilulissat to offer you an outline of each the historical past and vital buildings. Wandering with an skilled information is a superb introduction to visiting Greenland as you’ll not solely hear about what you’re seeing however some tales and traditions too.

If you’re quick on time, I can extremely advocate wandering right down to Zion’s Church, one of many northernmost church buildings on the planet, which is positioned on the shore near the city centre and really photogenic!

Photo Tip: Get low to make use of the quite a few flowers in bloom so as to add much more color and a ravishing body to the scene. Also venturing out round midnight throughout summer season will present a stunning gentle with virtually nobody within the streets!

Ilulissat Greenland Photography Locations

Hike the Coastal Yellow Route

Kicking off from both the facility station or trailhead of the blue/yellow route you may wander on this hike at your personal tempo to take pleasure in unimaginable views over the Icefjord.

This was my favorite path within the Ilulissat space as I used to be accompanied by whales the whole route alongside the coast…no joke, for hours. They had been swimming up and down so slowly, fishing on krill and offering a soundtrack of spouts as I criss-crossed over the rocky hillside. One of the most effective days I’ve ever spent outside and I hope that anybody else who ventures alongside this path has an identical expertise.

From downtown Ilulissat the hike all the best way to the icefjord takes roughly 2hours however give or a take somewhat relying how briskly you stroll and naturally, what number of images you cease to seize. It’s not essentially strenuous nevertheless it’s value having first rate mountain climbing boots, pack some snacks and make a half day of it to essentially take in the sweetness.

The shoreline route not solely offers a chance to {photograph} the surroundings, icebergs and whales however you’ll come throughout some vibrant flora and now have the prospect to identify the very illusive and cute Arctic Fox.

Photo tip: While I usually advocate packing as little as attainable on a mountain climbing journey, I really feel like is one route the place it’s possible you’ll wish to use your whole accessible lenses. Because you’re taking pictures from stable floor somewhat than a ship (like most of the different excursions), you’ve bought an opportunity to essentially take your time and observe the icefjord. That mentioned, I captured photographs on a 12-40mm f2.8, 40-150mm f2.8 and 300mm f4 lens.

You can seize a map from the World of Greenland workplace or tough it somewhat and comply with the markings.
*In the summer season months you’ll wish to have a fly web hat accessible as a result of the humid situations create a swarm of buzzing bugs that may rapidly flip your expertise right into a damaging one. However, with a really modern hat at your disposal, you’ll be completely protected and may proceed you on having fun with the views!

Fly above the Kangia Glacier with Air Zafari

An aerial vantage level is at all times value choosing if you happen to’re a photographer, particularly when the panorama is as huge and epic as that of the Ilulissat area. From take off to touchdown your eyes might be in awe of the surroundings beneath.

In a small aircraft you’ll fly as much as 65km down the icefjord with huge frozen constructions beneath forming a canvas you’ll little doubt wish to {photograph} time and again. From above you’re capable of see the meltwater streams as their vibrant blue color contrasts strikingly in opposition to the white ice. There’s additionally a helicopter tour that may take you proper to the glacier’s edge! Take a peek on the accessible excursions right here.

Opting for ‘The Kangia’ route will take you over the northern glacier ‘Sermeq Avangnardleq’ after which onto the mighty Isua Glacier which is the place the UNESCO World Heritage Site begins in your journey again by means of the icefjord.

Read about my expertise flying over Sermeq Kujalleq right here.

This glacier produces extra icebergs than every other within the northern hemisphere so if you happen to’re attempting to rely what number of icebergs you see…it’s possible you’ll wish to begin at 10,000 and work from there. Banked up for miles down the icefjord, a flightseeing expertise offers you a perspective like no different to see really how expansive this pure marvel is.

Once you get somewhat nearer to the mouth of the icefjord, preserve your eyes peeled for whales as they cruise by means of the water beside the icebergs. Moments earlier than touchdown we noticed what was initiatlly regarded as two whales…upon additional inspection of my images on the pc that evening, I’d really photographed six whales in a single picture!

Photo tip: Try to get your digital camera as shut as attainable to the home windows, utilizing your finger to make sure it doesn’t scratch the floor and smash the expertise for different visitors. There’s the likelihood you’ll get significantly snap blissful (cue me quickly photographing something white firstly…which was in fact, every part in sight), however take a second to stare out the window and resolve the way you wish to compose your photographs. No matter which flight route you go for there’s a minimal of 25minutes within the air so get snug, go searching after which seize among the finest images you’ll ever take!

Also don’t fear an excessive amount of a couple of huge angle lens…you’ll extra probably be centered on a 40-150mm vary as a result of form of the home windows and naturally panorama beneath.

Ilulissat Greenland Photography Locations-20

Where to remain in Ilulissat –

The location of your lodge, house or lodge issues when visiting Ilulissat. It’s the distinction between a variety of strolling, and maximising your time!

I primarily based myself at Nuka Hostel, a brand new apartment-style advanced proper on the primary road near the World of Greenland workplace (your assembly level for many excursions), supermarkets, cafes and the harbour.
Having spent a complete of 10 nights there, can safely say it’s the place I like to recommend anybody in search of someplace central stays. Despite being known as a ‘hostel’, it’s removed from it with well-appointed and glowing clear rooms, free WIFI (not discovered many locations) and wonderful employees! Plus there’s cooking amenities in your room making these midnight snacks very attainable about your adventures within the midnight solar. There’s restricted lodging accessible in Ilulissat so make sure to e-book effectively forward of your go to particularly throughout summer season! Check the finest charges right here for Nuka Hostel.

If you’re after someplace by the water there are two lodge choices that present lovely rooms with ocean views so you may watch the icebergs and whales cruise by your window. Take a peek at each Hotel Arctic and Hotel Icefiord.

 Ilulissat Map: Key locations of curiosity talked about inside this information –

Read extra about {photograph} in these situations –

Stay at Glacier Lodge Eqi – Sleep by a rumbling glacier!

3 Scenic Locations to Visit in Greenland

How to Use your Camera in Extreme Conditions + Climates

Weather Forecasting for Landscape Photographers

Enjoyed studying? Share the article!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here