Canon Explorer of Light
The Story Behind The Shot
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Visit us at learn.usa.canon.com. Jennifer Wu is a compensated spokesperson and an actual user of the Canon product(s) she promotes.
Jennifer Wu was born in Illinois in
1968 and grew up in Davis, California.
A professional photographer since
1992, she is a nature and landscape
photographer with a special interest
in the night sky and stars. Jennifer
is an Explorer of Light, making her
part of a group of 62 of some of
the world’s best photographers. An
award-winning photographer whose
work is exhibited in galleries and art
shows, she has taught at California
State University, Sacramento, and now
gives frequent lectures and workshops.
She and James Martin lead tours to
Namibia, Death Valley and Iceland.
© Jennifer Wu
I photographed this image at the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier located in southeast Iceland. Walking on top of the glacier, I spied
a moulin, a circular hole that cuts through the glacier like a well. Melted water poured into an ice cave below, creating a waterfall.
Once inside the cave, I marveled at the scene. The late morning sunlight passed through the glacier, and the backlit ice glowed.
The calm, sunny day was a welcome change from the extreme winds, snow and rain. The ice formations reminded me of the ocean.
In this case, the weather was warming up, the cave was melting, and water drops fell from the ceiling like large raindrops. Later
in the season it would not be a good idea to enter the cave, because each year the caves collapse, and new caves form as the
To photograph this image, I used my Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera body and an EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens set to 19mm.
The wide-angle of view allowed me to include much of the ice cave in the image. In addition, I used a polarizer and rotated while
watching the glare and reflections on the water on the shiny rocks and wet floor diminish. The polarizer adds about two f-stops to
exposure, which allowed me to slow the shutter speed to two and a half seconds, creating the wispy effect of the waterfall.
When leading tours to Iceland, I tell participants to use their lens hoods and pack a chamois because rain, meltwater, spray
from waterfalls and wind-blown waves eventually dampens any camera. I really enjoy using the 5D Mark II camera as the image
quality is exceptional and it is lightweight, which is great for making my pack lighter when hiking.
Jennifer Wu used a Canon EOS 5D
Mark II camera body an EF 16-35mm
f/2.8L II USM lens .
“I really enjoy using
the 5D Mark II camera
as the image quality is
exceptional and it is
lightweight, which is great
for making my pack lighter