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Sparks Lake

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Sparks Lake

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I arrived at Sparks Lake in late spring, long before the snow had thawed. The lake was still frozen in places and you had to snowshoe, or posthole two miles to reach the photogenic parts of the lake. Typically I would spend 4 or 5 days trying to shoot before deciding to try somewhere else. It’s a fun place, and a good place to meet other like minded photographers.

Invariably upon my return, I would meet someone who’d tell me about the amazing conditions the day after I left, or the day before I arrived. Soon it was possible to drive to the end of the dirt road; I would sometimes sit all day watching the lake. Sparks Lake does not have any visible outflow, but if you listen carefully, there are places where the water can be heard seeping into the ground, sometimes I’d watch otters playing in the shallows.

Over the course of about three months I watched the snows melt, the spring flowers grow, and eventually die. I watched summer lightning storms, and eventually felt the flurries of early winter snows. Despite all that time I only got one photograph!


Queens Bath

Queens Bath

Queens Bath

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On the north shore of Kauai Hawaii, Queens Bath can be treacherous when there’s a swell, in recent years at least 29 people have drowned here. Only moment before I took this shot several youngsters took great risk by jumping into the maelstrom.


Thors Well

Thors Well

Thors Well

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Thors Well out at Cape Perpetua is a popular place to on the Oregon coast. When you want a shot like this it comes down to timing and luck, you need a relatively high tide and hopefully some good swell. Trying to capture the setting sun at the right angle further compounds the difficulty, add fluctuations in air pressure and the all too frequent Oregon sea fog and you can see why this is a particularly tough shot. I got lucky here because I captured the sun bursting as it settled over a low cloud. Had I tried a capture like this when the sun hit the horizon it’s unlikely I’d have got the nice glow in the foreground.


Fly Geyser

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I’ve always loved unusual natural geological features, geysers are actually known as temporary geological features. In fact Fly Geyser is not an entirely natural phenomenon; it was accidentally created by well drilling in 1964 exploring for sources of geothermal energy. The well may not have been capped correctly, or left unplugged, either way dissolved minerals started rising and accumulating, creating the travertine mound on which the geyser sits and continues growing. A ranger in Yellowstone National Park once refused to believe this was real, he told me “It’s Disneyland, it’s made of fibreglass“.

Fly-Geyser-0539

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Columbia Gorge

Columbia Gorge

Columbia Gorge

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The Columbia River Gorge is an 80 mile long, 4,000ft. deep in places, natural wonder that cuts the only sea-level passage through the Cascade Range. In 2014 I spent six months predominantly photographing the Pacific Northwest, the very first place I visited was the Columbia Gorge. The gorge which borders Washington and Oregon is a mecca for landscape photographers, with over 77 major waterfalls on the Oregon side alone.  Many of the larger falls, such as Multnomah and Horsetail Falls, were likely discovered by the Lewis and Clark expeditions as they floated down the river, yet even with nearly 3 million people living less than an hour away, there are still waterfalls in the area that may have never been seen by man, a testament to both the rugged geology of the area and the dedication to preserving the Gorge that has prevailed against decades of increasing population growth.


Panther Creek Falls

Panther Creek Falls

Panther Creek Falls

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A spectacular waterfall on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.


Kanarraville Falls

Kannaraville Falls

Kanarraville Falls

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I once waded out here in the middle of winter in the hope for some unique angle on a now often photographed waterfall. On that occasion there was too little water. When I returned a year later heavy floods had mangled the wooden ladder, I consider the ladder photogenic so I wanted to rebuild it. I returned back to Kannaraville and begged a hammer and some nails from the owner of the local campsite. Returning really early the following morning I set about trying to remove the broken ladder so I could reconstruct it. I didn’t realise the two main uprights were deeply buried in shale. Trying to remove them one at a time whilst getting soaked from the waterfall was no easy task. I ended up soaked to the skin in the frigid water and strained my back but I like the shot, and of course the extra effort makes it all the more memorable.


Zion Narrows

Zion Narrows

Zion Narrows

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Zion National Park in Utah is a favourite amongst many landscape photographers, covering an area of 593.3 km² there is so much to explore. This image was taken in the Narrows which is the narrowest canyon through which the Virgin River flows. Hikers must wade through knee deep water which is typically rather cold. The hike is undoubtedly one of the best in the park and makes a great place to cool off in the summer heat.


Iguazu Falls

Iguazu-8-as-Smart-Object-1

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Unfortunately Iguazu National Park only opens to tourists at 10.00am on the Argentine side. This was taken on my second trip and on both occasions I had to sneak into the bushes, waiting overnight in order to be ready for sunrise.  On the earlier trip I shot this view with the sun rising directly from the top middle of the image. This image was shot much later in the year when the sun rises more to the left. As expected this produced a nice glow on the water.

Here’s an image taken roughly around the southern hemisphere’s summer solstice:
Iguazu-0297-Edit

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Marble Caves

Marble Caves

Marble Caves

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Carved into the Patagonian Andes, the Cuevas de Mármol are located on a peninsula of solid marble bordering Lake General Carrera, a remote glacial lake that spans the Chile-Argentina border.

Formed by 6,000-plus years of waves washing up against calcium carbonate, the smooth, swirling blues of the cavern walls are a reflection of the lake’s azure waters, which change in intensity and hue, depending on water levels and time of year.  I made two trips to this area, on the first occasion there was a little too much water, the lake was lower on my second visit. I tried shooting over the course of five days so I could see the way the light and cloud cover affected water color throughout the day. Finally on the fifth day a high pressure system lowered water levels even more and I was able to capture even more of the otherwise submerged marble.

 


Havasu Falls

Back in August 2008 a flash flood devastated the remote waterfalls at Havasupai on the south side of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The Navajo who live in the remote village of Supai spent months clearing up debris left over from the flood. By the time I visited on Christmas Day 2011 the debris was removed, but the falls were altered forever. Havasu Falls (pictured) used to have two spouts.  Also there were no travertine pools at the base of Mooney Falls, these will take many years to recover. It was still a wonderful experience and a great place to spend Christmas Day.

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Proxy Falls

Proxy Falls

I wasn’t particularly impressed with these falls, however, I’d promised to meet someone here and as a way of passing the time I kept scouting around looking for a composition. By late afternoon I realized my meeting was never going to happen, I’d been up high above the falls, I’d gazed at every tree thinking I could shoot looking down, I’d tried everything but the standard ‘comp stomp’. It was only as I was about to leave that I noticed the late afternoon sun rays filtering through the spray.

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Mossbrae Falls

mossbrae-falls-0821-editA short walk along some train tracks brings you to Mossbrae Falls. The falls are a popular place to photograph and one could say they are over shot, but if you’re traveling along I5 in California they make a great place to pull over for a few hours.
Before accessing these falls ask at a local cafe for advice.

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Ruckel Creek

ruckel-creek-8602During the spring of 2014 I visited the Pacific Northwest to shoot some waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. The Columbia River Gorge forms a boundary between the U.S states of Washington (north) and Oregon to the south. Due to their remote location there are some waterfalls within the region that have never been photographed before. Accessing those falls interests me and I’d like to spend more time here in future.


Petrohue Falls

Petrohue Falls are beautiful set of waterfalls within Vincente Pérez Rosales National Park in Chile. Seen here with volcano Osorno 2652m.

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