All images exhibited here show landscapes which have emerged in the course of natural geological processes, without any human influence and manipulation. These landscapes are fragile Nature-created formations which, in the long run, will be unable to resist man’s unstoppable urge to exploit – they will alter and ultimately disappear.

I am not one of those environmental activists who point fingers at others and demand protection and conservation of natural landscapes. Each viewer of my images should decide for themselves whether the remnants of intact natural landscapes are worth preserving.

However, those who support the idea of preservation and conservation of Nature should be aware of the fact that the status quo and ‘let`s-continue-as-before’ attitude so well rooted in our profit-oriented world will have to change radically.

When we talk about beautiful landscapes or nature, we mostly refer to the landscapes transformed by man. I, on the other hand, gladly juxtapose those with the ones which have not yet been touched by a human hand and are practically unchanged, still in their primordial form.’

‘I keep moving between two worlds: the world of science in the most general sense of the word and that of art … this constant oscillation between documentary and detached, abstract photography is the most exciting factor rendering inspiration to my work. via

Bernhard Edmaier is a German geologist, award-winning photographer and author of geoscientific books. Born in 1957, in Munich, Germany, he has been working as an independent photographer for the last decade and a half. He is based in Ampfing, a small village in Bavaria.

Many of the sites on Earth, Edmaier has visited, are inaccessible and are devoid of human presence because of their harsh, extreme climatic conditions. There’s a large amount of research, extensive preparation, sufficient planning, which must be done by Bernhard Edmaier and crew, before the shooting expeditions can take place. It’s as if Edmaier is discovering new, alien-like, planetary atmospheres here on our very own planet.

His aerial photos of natural phenomena are some of the most beautiful and striking photos I have ever laid my eyes upon. That is not an overstatement. The most talented abstract painter could not pull these compositions out of the ether. These nature images, captured by the veteran photographer, are just unreal and breath-snatching. This is truly what “amazing” looks like, People of Earth.

Be sure to go directly to his site as we have only extracted a fraction (Honestly, it was difficult limiting it to just 20 slides, and we still feel like pigs. Excuse us, Bernhard, we just love the work.) of the miraculous, intriguing and beautiful work. There are sections broken up into Aqua, Barren, Desert, Green, Geoart (Germany), Maldives, Swiss Glaciers, Volcanoes, Big Melt, and Earth on Fire. We urge you to visit his site and take your time going through his collection.

Aerial Photos of Iceland Volcanic Rivers by Andre Ermolaev is also a MUST-SEE. It’s similarly inspired, mind-boggling, aerial photographic work of natural formations.

@teemunny

via Arpeggia

MILKY WATER 1 – In the river Thjorsá on the south coast of Iceland, the melt-water from the huge ice-fields, known as ‘glacier milk’, brings about a transformation. Its quantity varies depending on the air temperature and the season, creating different patterns on the wide mud flats each day. The Thjorsá is 230 kilometre in length. It is the longest river of Iceland.

ORANGE WATER – If, as in the Landeyjarsander in south Iceland, melt water from nearby glaciers crosses swamplands, it becomes acidic and dissolves iron minerals from the black volcanic rock, which it then deposits along the bottoms of the channels. This gives the main river and its tributaries their reddish-yellow colour.

ICY CRATERS – The volcanic Mount Etna on the Mediterranean island of Sicily, Italy, is much further south, but the climate on its 3,300 metre high peak is alpine. The snow that falls in winter does not thaw until late spring. It can even be very cold in summer. The grey dusting on the white snow cover is volcanic ash, which is repeatedly spewed out by the vent of the young southeast crater. This picture was taken in March 2001. Since this time the south east crater erupted permanently until 2003 and grow up to a 300 metre high mound of ash and lava.

WATERY LANDSCAPE – Veidivötn is a watery landscape in central Iceland on the northwest edge of the Vatnajoküll Glacier, flown through by many meltwater streams. It contains some 50 lakes, many of them in craters caused by Veidivötn’s position above a volcanic fissure zone. The last eruption happened in the year 1480. Fish inhabit about 30 of the lakes, including trout of exceptional flavour and size, often as big as six pounds. Spring moss gives the black volcanic rock its green accents.

DESERT MOUNTAINS – Deep canyons yawn in the Huns Mountains in the south of Namibia. Their layers were formed more than 600 million years ago, and today they are as flat as when they were deposited. The remains of prehistoric animals and plants dye the rock dark grey and brown. The hard limestone shelves erode more slowly than the softer intervening marlstone strata, causing the sides of the valleys to break into terraces.

SANDY ISLANDS – These islands of red sand protrude centimetres above the surface of Lake Amadeus, in the dry, hot, central part of Australia. The lake is filled with water for only a few weeks of the year. What remains after it evaporates is a thin layer of salt clay. The plants that have taken root on the sand islands are very hardy, able to withstand salt as well as heat and drought.

GREEN DESERT – In the sandy plains of the Namib desert, the rare rainfalls allow grass to grow. The gentle greenery in the hollows accentuates the winding, interwoven patterns of the old dunes, which have become overgrown with scrub.

GREEN ISLAND IN THE DESERT – Trees and bushes are densely packed in the centre of the vast Wolfe Creek Crater, made by a meteorite in Western Australia some 300,000 years ago. The ridge of the crater, and the surrounding area, by contrast, are only sparsely vegetated. The crater has a diameter of about 850 metres (half a mile) and is one of the largest in the world.

LAKE GROßER OSTERSEE – Water plants give the flat shores of this south German lake their luminous colour. The little isles and lakefront are composed of debris collected by an Alpine Ice Age glacier. The withdrawing ice left behind an irregular pattern of moulds and basins. Today the basins are filled with water and the moulds protrude from the water as the lake’s little isles.

FORMER KETTLE HOLES – The farmland in Mecklenburg and West Pomerania is dotted with countless green holes, looking like small islands. These are points, where the farmland sunk and rain water gathered, forming small basins. The soil in these spots is too wet for farming, so they are circumvented by tractors. These small basins are the relicts of the Ice Age and were formed by ice blocks embedded in the soft soil left over by retreating glaciers and debris transported by melt water. As they melted gradually, the ground sunk and melt water filled the cavities forming so called ‘dead ice holes’.

THE MALDIVES 3 – Also, these two coral reefs belong to the Baa Atoll. During ebb times, one can see parts of the coral reef above the water surface. The inhabitants refer to these structures as giri – coral reefs amassed under the water surface, which are hazardous to passing ships.

WHERE THE GLACIERS MEET – Here the Grenz and Gorner Glaciers meet. In the ice free debris area between both ice streams, melt water has formed the green lake.

A LAKE ON THE GORNER GLACIER – In summer, when the sun not only melts the winter snow but also old ice, water pools and streams are formed on the surface of the glacier.

NYAMULAGIRA – The Nyamulagira volcano belongs to the range of volcanic Virunga Mountains in Virunga National Park in the northern Kivu-Lake province of Zaire in the heart of Africa. It erupts every few years, but its spectacular eruptions of fountains of molten lava are difficult to capture from a close distance. One of the reasons for this difficulty is the fact that the rainforest surrounding it, is hardly accessible, another one that this area is controlled by the rebels who continue to flare up the civil war on the border of Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire). These fountains of lava, photographed from a small plane during the eruption in 2004, shoot 100m into the air.

MALY SEMIATCHIK – The turquoise blue of the crater lake in the Maly Semiachik volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, comes from the minerals that enter the water from corrosive volcanic gases at the bottom of the lake. They make the water highly acidic, with a pH value of less than 1. When the lake was first discovered in 1946, it had a temperature of 66 degrees centigrade. By 1970, it had cooled to between 30 and 35 degrees centigrade. The lake is believed to be 140 metres deep. Maly Semiachik, 1,560 metres high, is far from any settlements on the peninsula, which juts into the Pacific on the same latitude as Siberia. It is a several-day hike to reach it, or it can be visited by helicopter.

ICEBERG AND SEA ICE, WEST GREENLAND – A giant iceberg drifts between the flows of freshly broken sea ice in Disco Bay in West Greenland.

MELT WATER, MENDENHALL GLACIER, ALASKA – The Mendenhall Glacier near the city of Juneau also belongs to the retreating ice masses of Alaska. Its front retreated at the rate of 50 m per year on average during the decade from 1997 to 2007. In summertime, rivers and lakes of blue melt water can be found at the lower parts of the ice mass.

LAVA FOUNTAIN, ERTA ALE VOLCANO, ETHIOPIA, AFRICA – The Erta Ale Volcano harbours a very rare phenomenon on earth – a lava lake that has been bubbling in on of its two pit craters for over 90 years. It is covered by a thin black crust. Where is opens glowing lava gushes out, creating fountains that can reach heights of 15 to 20 metres.

VOLCANIC REMNANT, MAELIFELLSANDUR, ICELAND – Bright green moss has colonized a hill in the middle of Maelifellsandur, a black desert of lava and volcanic ash in Iceland. The hill is all what remains of a once active cinder cone, ground down by ice of the nearby retreating Maelifell glacier.

CHAMPAGNE POOL, NEW ZEALAND – The 60-metres deep crater of Champagne Pool torn open during a volcanic explosion in Wai-O-Tapu 900 years ago. The spring water in the basin is heated to 75 degrees Celsius. Heat loving bacteria cover the crust, where minerals are deposited. The orange colour is evidence of antimony compounds.


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