The Northern Lights as you have never seen them before… captured through thick ice in freezing waters of the Arctic Circle


The Northern Lights as you have never seen them before… through thick ice in the freezing waters of the Arctic Circle

The Northern Lights are one of nature”s most photographed phenomenons, but one diver managed to capture the magnificent spectacle from a different vantage point – through thick ice in the bitterly cold waters of the Arctic Circle.

As a result photographer George Karbus managed to snap a stunning image of a diver”s silhouette against the breathtaking backdrop of the Northern Lights.

To get the shot Mr Karbus, 33, his girlfriend and a friend ventured out from the shore, cut a hole in the 30 centimetre thick ice and took the plunge.

A diver swimming beneath thick ice appears in bold silhouette against the breathtaking backdrop of the Northern Lights.

Stunning view: A diver swimming beneath thick ice appears in bold silhouette against the breathtaking backdrop of the Northern Lights

Determined: Dressed only in a simple wetsuit, George Karbus dipped below his girlfriend Kate Hamsiaora - who was freediving some six metres under the surface herself - to get the beautiful shot

Determined: Dressed only in a simple wetsuit, George Karbus dipped below his girlfriend Kate Hamsiaora – who was freediving some six metres under the surface herself – to get the beautiful shot

Dressed only in a simple wetsuit, he dipped below his girlfriend Kate Hamsiaora – who was freediving some six metres under the surface herself – to get this beautiful shot.

Mr Karbus, a professional photographer, said: “It was a truly amazing experience.

“I had never seen the Northern Lights before and it was unbelievable.

“After a long day, we stayed up specially to watch them from around 11pm until past 1am.

“I wasn”t disappointed. When they started it was something else.

“The light was changing all the time, it was very intense. You want to cry and dance and scream at the same time.”

Mr Karbus,of Lahinch, in County Clare, on the west coast of Ireland, says watching the green glow transform the sky was unforgettable.

The couple and their three-year-old son were in the area for 10 days on the search for beluga whales. Challenge: Photographer George Karbus went to extraordinary lengths to capture this stunning image in the bitterly cold waters of the Arctic Circle

Challenge: Photographer George Karbus went to extraordinary lengths to capture this stunning image in the bitterly cold waters of the Arctic Circle

“It took two days by train to get to the spot by Russia”s White Sea. Each morning, they set out with a guide on a snowmobile to find holes in the ice where the whales commonly surface.

“On this night, they chose to watch the aurora borealis from the water, which was -2 degrees celsius.

Mr Karbus said: “These were the coldest conditions I have experienced, but it was worth it.

“Normally when you are freediving you are attached to a line so that you know where to return to. I made an exception for these photographs and went down without it.”

Brave:

Brave: “You could say it was daunting, but many things are scary these days and so I took a chance,” said Mr Karbus

Caught up: Mr Karbus added:

Caught up: Mr Karbus added: “You have to be cautious and keep an eye on your energy levels because it is so cold, and can be dangerous”

“You could say it was daunting, but many things are scary these days and so I took a chance.”

Another photo shows one of his freediving pals ascending. The group swam for around 45 minutes at a time before turning in.

Mr Karbus added: “We left reluctantly. You have to be cautious and keep an eye on your energy levels because it is so cold, and can be dangerous.”

“Part of me wanted to enjoy the lights without taking photographs, but it was too hard to resist. It was just too beautiful.”

Mr Karbus started freediving around eight years ago as a way of photographing dolphins and whales at close range.