Ray Mackey

from Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador

Iceberg in Ferryland, Newfoundland and Labrador
Ray Mackey

Tell us about yourself

I am a lifelong resident of Newfoundland. I worked in the telecommunications industry for 30 years and am now a landscape photographer primarily based in Newfoundland. One of my favourite subjects is icebergs. You could say I’m an iceberg hunter, this will be obvious in my social media feeds. I’m married with two adult children. I spend most of my time traveling around Newfoundland photographing the landscape, nature and wildlife including icebergs of course.

What equipment did you use to take this photo?

I used a Nikon D810 to capture the image chosen.

What motivated you to participate in this competition?

I came across the promotion/contest on line and thought the subject I shoot most often, icebergs, is a great fit. I’ve watched icebergs pass by Newfoundland during spring my whole life and it seems every year is different, I wonder why? I’m a big believer in climate change, mostly driven by the world wide info that has been available, however in my lifetime there seems to be noticeable changes occurring here as well.

Why did you choose this photo?

I selected this one along with five others, all of which were icebergs, because this image is special to me. I grew up on what’s known as the Southern Shore of the Avalon Peninsula near where this image was captured. So it’s near my home, and this is the iceberg that drew a lot of attention at the time, especially around climate change. I spent 8 days shooting this iceberg and it actually stayed around for weeks.

What does climate action look like in your community?

For me there is a noticeable change occurring. Where I live, we see significant changes in wind speeds. It’s become more extreme and occurs much more frequently. In 2020 we had the biggest snowstorm on record (known locally as ‘Snow Mageddon’) accompanied again by extreme wind. The iceberg season varies in general, but we are seeing some years with a lot, and last year for example, virtually none. I’m not a scientist and don’t keep track of the data but it sure feels different.

An example of action in my community towards climate and the environment is we banned single use plastic bags from our province. I think like most places we have climate change supporters and ‘naysayers’.

What message would you like to give world leaders ahead of the COP26 Climate Conference this year?

In my opinion, I think we are going to continue to struggle with our environment. The one message I would give is not new; find a way to “get the big money out of politics.” Until the world does that, we are going to struggle to create laws that help our environment in a substantial way.