Nunavut photographer turns tossed tea into frozen art

Hot tea, meet frigid Arctic air. Michael H Davies

A stunning image captured by a Nunavut photographer highlights the Arctic’s frigid beauty in an unusual way.

The photo, showing a silhouetted figure surrounded by a frozen halo, was created by tossing hot tea into the Arctic air. The liquid instantly froze mid-air.

The image has quickly begun making the rounds on the internet. The man behind the lens, Michael H. Davies says he’s since been contacted by reporters as far away as England to find out more about the snapshot.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a really, long time, coming up with a little bit more innovative ideas,” Davies said. “I’m a landscape photographer mainly.”

READ MORE: Canadian photographer captures stunning images of Lake Erie’s ‘liquid mountains’

Davies, originally from Ontario, lives just south of the Arctic circle in Pangnirtung, Nunavut with his wife and two children.

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The community gets about 2.5 hours of daylight at this time of year, making the shot a race against time. Davies shot the picture around 1:00 p.m on Dec. 20, just as the sun was setting, with the help of friend Markus Siivola and a lot of hot chai tea.

He says it was about -40C that day.

The now-viral image was their second tea-tossing attempt. Davies said he’s been planning the picture for a while, and was waiting for the perfect conditions — low wind, lack of cloud cover, frigid temperatures — to try it out.

“As it was drifting, that’s when the sun lined up and I pushed the button and the rest is history,” Davies said.

He said the picture was not his favourite of the day, but his wife convinced him it was the perfect shot to be shared.

“Of course, any man knows, they listen to their wife. And I said yes, of course, I will post the one you like,” Davies said.

He opened the post up to the public, and before he knew it, the shares started.

“As of eight o’clock this morning I think it was at 100,000 shares just on Facebook,” Davies said. “It’s just been spiralling and spiralling.”

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You can view more of Davies’ work here.

The hamlet of Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Michael H Davies
A solitary iceberg. Michael H Davies
The Northern Lights. Michael H Davies
A self-portrait by Davies. Michael H Davies

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