Diamond Beach, a black sand beach littered with diamonds (pieces of icebergs), is a hot spot for tourists and especially photographers. We have been here before with varying amounts of success  (Even the Best Laid Plans). Today’s visit looked to be horrific, the weather being the main culprit. It was cold, our coldest day of our trip. There was a rainy snowy mix. And the wind was howling, with wind gusts up to 40 mph. Sound fun? As we stepped out of our car my mood went from excited to gloomy. All I can think of is the warmth of our hotel room with a glass of whiskey in hand.

By the time I get to the diamonds on the beach I am drenched. My gloves are wet, my hat is wet, my shoes are wet. Did I mention it was cold with a lot of wind? My mood is sour. That is, until I see a cool-shaped iceberg right at water’s edge, perfect for photography. As I move toward it, I notice a couple of photographers nearby, one to the left looking at another smaller and less interesting berg (good luck with that I think), and a second to the right fiddling with his camera. The iceberg is mine for the taking.

I am moving quickly now, forgetting the bad weather, focused on the shot. I set up my tripod and camera and take a test shot. Not bad but it needs an ND filter to slow down the exposure. I add the filter to the front of the lens and steady myself for another shot. As I am about to shoot, the photographer on the right (the fiddler) stepped right in front of me, positioned his tripod and camera, and proceeded to fire away. As pleasantly as I could be (yeah, right), I asked what was going on. He responds, “this is my iceberg.”

With all civility gone, I asked where he purchased it. I’m now all New York. He says, “I’ve been here for 30 minutes waiting for the right moment to shoot.” You can guess my response to that. I thought about slugging this guy. The satisfaction would be sublime. I checked my anger, said a few things I wouldn’t regret, then moved off to other fabulous looking icebergs.

It was raining hard and the wind was whipping. It was nearly impossible keeping the lens clean.

Deciding when to press the shutter became a game. When is the best time to actually take the photo when factoring in the 2-second long exposure, the 1/2 second delay exposure I programmed into the camera, and the speed and size of the waves? This picture was taken at the perfect time. 🙂

For this photo I waited until the wave reached my tripod and nestled around my feet. As soon as the wave began to recede I pressed the shutter. Well worth the wet feet!

After a while, when I cooled down (not too hard in this weather), I mentioned my experience to Kathryn. Expecting to be admonished for my boorish behavior, she says, “where is this guy, I’m going to slug him!” I love this woman.

This is the last iceberg we photographed. Do you notice the beautiful blue color in all the bergs? It is either from older ice, lack of air pockets in the ice, or both. By the way, there were multiple waves cascading at the same time to get this effect.

We kept saying, “one more shot!” This time Kathryn packed up before me, a rarity indeed.

After too many pictures taken, if this is even possible, we decided to hit the road in search of whiskey. As we start walking to the car, a guy stops me. It’s him, the iceberg thief. I am now physically holding Kathryn back when he restores my faith in humanity. He apologizes. We left on good terms though we did not invite him to join us for a drink.