Pouring a Thermos of Hot Tea at -40°C Near the Arctic Circle

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Ontario-based photographer Michael Davies timed this impressive shot of his friend Markus hurling a thermos of hot tea through the air yesterday in -40°C weather. At such frigid temperatures water freezes instantly to form a dramatic plume of ice. For the last decade Davies has worked as a photographer in the fly-in community of Pangnirtung in Canada’s High Arctic, only 20km south of the Arctic Circle, a place that sees about two hours of sunlight each day during the winter. He shares via email that almost nothing was left to chance in creating the photo, as so many things had to be perfectly timed:

Around 1pm I jumped on my skidoo along with my friend Markus and we drove 45 minutes to the top of a nearby mountain where the light (which is almost always pink near the solstice) would hit the hills. Prepared with multiple thermoses filled with tea, we began tossing the water and shooting. Nothing of this shot was to chance, I followed the temperature, watched for calm wind, and planned the shot and set it up. Even the sun in the middle of the spray was something I was hoping for, even though it’s impossible to control.

You can see more of Davies’ most recent photography over on Flickr.

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