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Pete_Ryan_23918

© Pete Ryan / National Geographic / Offset

As the single ice hotel operating in North America, Quebec’s Hôtel de Glace opens its doors annually on January 5th, welcoming a slew of visitors into its frigid interior. The structure is build on completely from snow and ice, in respective quantities of 15,000 and 500,000 tons. In contrast with the crowded interiors we normally associate with the tourist hotspot, National Geographic photographer Pete Ryan captures a quiet moment within the hallowed walls of the hotel’s chapel.

Each year, the hotel is built by approximately sixty individuals over a span of six weeks months or so, reports CBS News. Its thirty plus rooms are constructed from a specially engineered type of snow that is held together by sturdy metal framing, with its icy walls reaching as much as a few feet in width. The ice chapel hosts dozens of weddings in is crystalline walls, setting the scene for a magical moment. For Ryan’s solitary sitter, that moment is more elusive and less definable. With her back turned to his lens, we are invited to introspect as she does within this magnificent—but impermanent—interior.

This photo and many others from Ryan’s portfolio are available through Offset, a new curated collection of high-end commercial and editorial photography and illustration from award-winning artists around the world. Offset is an exclusive category channel partner on Feature Shoot.

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