It’s pretty cold in the north of Canada at any time of year, but in the winter, temperatures plummet to incredible lows. Ontario-based photographer Michael Davies and his friend Markus stood at the top of a mountain and demonstrated this by throwing leftover tea into the air, dramatically photographing it instantaneously freezing.
This mountaintop was just 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) south of the Arctic Circle, and fairly close to Pangnirtung, the fly-in community where Davies has worked as a photographer for the last decade. With weather around -35°C (-31°F), the tea – kept hot within the thermos flask – froze before it had even begun to fall to the snowy ground.
The winter months in Pangnirtung are as frigid as they are dark. “Between sunrise and sunset we only have 2.5 hours of light,” he explained to IFLScience. In order to get this incredible shot, some natural light was required; he drove on a skidoo to a nearby mountain where the light, which is almost always pink near the winter solstice, would hit the ground.
Nothing was left to chance. “I followed the temperature, I watched for calm wind, planned the shot and set it up," Davies told IFLScience. "Even the sun in the middle of the spray was something I was hoping for, even though it’s impossible to control.”
Image credit: The Aurora Borealis. Michael Davies/michaelhdavies.com