For many travel and landscape photographers, all the wanderlust-inducing destinations that await not only make the promise of great photos but also epic adventures. The latest in our list of outstanding work that proves this is a project by buddies Toby Harriman and Jussi Ruottinen, which document their epic time in Alaska where they paddled on glacier rivers they described as “beyond incredible.”
Aptly titled Paddling Tranquility, their project consists of photos from both photographers and aerial footage by Harriman that showcase the unbelievable beauty of rivers plowing through the glaciers of Alaska. There’s so much to unpack from the project — from the otherworldly beauty of the glacial landscape, the tranquil mood captured in both the photos and the short film, to the calming blue waters and the spirit of adventure it instills in the viewers.
In the project description, Harriman recalled his 2017 Alaska trip to Lake George next to Knik Glacier, where another of his buddies paddled through the layer of broken ice on an old canoe. The rest, as they say, is history.
“Ever since then, I have always wanted to keep exploring remote glacier areas and keep creating abstract, adventurous aerials and stories. Especially considering places and scenes like these won’t be around much longer the ways things are going.”
Harriman has since ended up with a couple of inflatable paddleboards which he planned to take to some of the coolest places. He was able to just that last year with fellow photographer Ruottinen, who also served as his guide.
“We have seen shots like these for years with kayaks and packrafts, we knew we had to get our paddleboards out here. So for our first adventure, we backpacked a board and some camera gear (50lbs in total) 3 miles out to try and find an amazing glacier pool. After a 1 mile backtrack after going the wrong way, we finally found the route and set eyes on the most beautiful glacier lake we have ever seen. Alaska never seems to disappoint!”
During this epic paddleboard adventure, they were also flown to Bear Glacier via helicopter, one of their favorite places. Harriman has previously flown over the area a few times over the years, so it definitely was a dream come true to hang and explore it at his own pace.
“We paddled around for hours listening to the glacier cave in the distance and the icebergs flip over in front of us. It was an incredible experience and one of the most surreal moments we have experienced in a while.”
Watch Harriman’s short film Paddling Tranquility below:
All photos and short film by Jussi Ruottinen and Toby Harriman. Used with Creative Commons permission.