Lake Natron, Tanzania
"Natron is an endless joy to photograph. It is constantly changing and alive with flocks of birds, especially flamingos. The first time I photographed the soda lakes of East Africa from an ultralight, I thought I was going to die, because the reflections of the clouds and light were so disorienting. The multi-hued water gets its colors from algae, salts, and minerals."
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Emerald Lake, Canada
"There are a few emerald lakes in Canada - we know the one in Yoho well - but this one certainly deserves its name; the colors of the water are beyond belief. As I frame up the simple composition, I’m wondering if anyone will believe these colors are real. Of course, I know because I Googled it that the intense color derives from light reflecting off white deposits of clay and calcium carbonate called marl, which lie at the bottom of the shallow waters and come from limestone gravels eroded from the nearby mountains, deposited here 14,000 years ago by the glaciers of the last ice age. But I fear some will think I’ve just got a bit carried away with the vibrance slider in Lightroom."
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Yuanyang rice terraces, China
"In the Ailao Mountains of the Yunnan province are some of the largest in the whole of China. I took this photograph at the end of the day, just before sunset. The sky was full of clouds and the reflections on the water created the most amazing patterns and sense of warmth. This image won numerous awards and is one of my most iconic images of the landscape of China."
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Kilchurn Castle, Scotland
"They say good things come to those that wait. An early alarm call and long drive were necessary to get to the water’s edge prior to sunrise, but I had to wait for the mist to clear, the castle ruins to appear, and sunlight to kiss the mountains before I could take this image of one of Scotland’s most iconic castles."
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Cherry blossoms, Yoshino, Japan
"Photographing the cherries in peak bloom is 'combat photography,' and for good reason. The beauty is unparalleled, but the actual blossoms last only a week or so. This particular trip was exhausting; I was up at 4am to photograph in the subdued morning light, so the pale pinks would stand out. Also, the wind was calm and the crowds hadn’t arrived yet. This image was taken after fresh rain—the fog is still settled in the valley beyond and softens the mountain ridges."
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Alsek Lake, Alaska
"I captured this image while on a rafting trip to photograph the Tatshenshini River in the Yukon, which was threatened by the development of a massive copper mine. Everything downstream of this mine would be affected; environmental calamity knows no borders. This became the image that was used to convince lawmakers in Canada and the US to oppose the mine and instead create the Tatshenshini-Alsek Park, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site."
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"I always believed that Chinese master landscape painters had creative imaginations, until I visited Huangshan, which resembled a sumi-e painting more than a real place. This mountainous region of jagged pinnacles, sheer walls, and twisted pine trees became an endless source of inspiration to me, from photography to gardening. Long a favorite theme of mine is the use of a mist or fog to make a solid mass seem somewhat translucent. Using a long lens, I zoomed in on these two pinnacles to make the simple shapes and lines dominant in the frame."
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Trango Towers, Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan
"There’s nothing in this world that can prepare you for the sheer scale and magnitude of the Trango Towers in Pakistan. It is perceived often as surreal and appears to rise from a computer-generated scene. This image was the result of a third early morning attempt, when I literally had around 30 seconds to capture the towers as the clouds parted simultaneously in the east and west, allowing me to capture the drama."
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"Moving from left to right, the boat stopped at the bank by the tree, and then, while smoking a cigarette, the fisherman guided the boat into the middle of the water. I captured the shot the way it is and I was happy to have achieved the image I was expecting in my mind. Some days you are just lucky."
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Disko Bay, Greenland
"During the midnight sun period at the end of July, the sun sets just for a few minutes, giving the opportunity to shoot all night long. Disko Bay is a sheltered place, which means we had reflections almost every night. The icebergs calve from the Kanger glacier, and the icescapes are changing every day! This panorama is created from four vertical images."
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"On one amazing evening while taking a walk at the request of my four-year-old son, we stumbled upon this forest, and I beheld the most beautiful of all the landscapes I have ever photographed. You never know where or when nature will reveal to you its magic moments. This was one I will always remember. I went back later that week, and made the images that captured for me a place and time the like of which I would never see again.The image was focus-stacked from multiple exposures."
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"The Gespensterwald is a coastal beech forest in northern Germany. The winds from the Baltic Sea have contributed to the lack of ground cover and the forest’s reputation as a spooky place. After a heavy snowfall in January, I spent the whole day in the forest, waiting for the perfect conditions. Only after the night fell, it started to snow again with heavy snowflakes. I used the internal flash of the camera in order to make them visible, as well as to create a magical and surreal mood."
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"This is a small fishing village in the Fujian province. These nets are used for farming crabs and lobsters. I took this photograph at the end of the afternoon, while a local fisherman was resting inside his boat. The reflection of the blue net almost makes it look like the boat is caught in its own net. I decided to create this panoramic photograph by stitching three images together to retain definition and ensure a quality final image."
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King George River, Western Australia
"Jackson Pollock said his paintings ended where your imagination began—images of water reflections take me to this same place. I can get lost looking at the details of this image, which also is reminiscent of works by Gustav Klimt. In the Kimberley, in Western Australia, blue rivers flow through deeply cut canyons of ocher sandstone. In this image, the cliffs become a rhythmic disruption of shape and pattern, gilded under the bright blue sky."
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River Delta, Iceland
"Geologically young, Iceland formed only 10 million years ago, when oceanic volcanoes erupted along the Earth’s tectonic plates, resulting in this rapidly changing landscape. These aerial views display the exquisite beauty of erosion patterns on floodplains left by jökulhlaups- the glacier bursts that occur when geothermal heat melts subglacial ice and water bursts through in a catastrophic flood."
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