In his travels around the world, photographer Robert Greenberg has captured some stunning land and cityscapes. Here is a selection of some of my favorites from his global photo safaris.
Artists Drive is an alluvial fan carved into the Black Mountains in Death Valley. The hikers waving at the photographer offer scale in this vast landscape of purple, green, red, and yellow rock formations and deposits of oxidized iron and manganese, among other minerals, that spewed forth during Miocene-era volcanic eruptions. With such a colorful palette, it’s easy to understand why the area was so named.
Badwater Basin is a popular hike in California’s Death Valley National Park. At nearly three hundred feet below sea level, it is the lowest point in North America. Salt, deposited over the centuries by rain and a spring-fed pool, has created the long, white path shown in this photo. At the far end of this long salt flat, a sign 284 feet above the bed reads, “Sea level.”
The sand dunes of Death Valley create a sweeping desert panorama of beautiful emptiness. Shadows lie over the mountain range in the background, smothered by the blues, whites, and grays of an overcast sky. Barely visible in the distance are hikers exploring a landscape that nature has set aside for plants and creatures who thrive on dessicating winds and soaring heat.
A solitary hiker ponders the orange hills and cliffs of Golden Canyon in Death Valley. Though the trail is clearly marked, you can become lost in the stark and solitary beauty of this landscape.
Outside Christchurch, on the South Island of New Zealand, farmers cultivate rapeseed, a brilliant yellow member of the mustard or cabbage family. Rapeseed, valued for its oil-infused seed, is a global source of vegetable oil (second-largest) and protein meal (third-largest). Here, beyond a broad expanse of rapeseed flowers, are the craggy hills and snow-capped mountains west of Christchurch.
Fox Glacier is fed by four alpine glaciers in the southern alps of New Zealand. Like other glaciers globally, it is retreating at an alarming rate. In this image, tourists observe its blackened retreating face–a craggy expanse of dust-covered ridges and valleys shrinking against the onslaught of global warming. You don’t dare venture closer. Though this frozen wasteland looks solid, it is deceptively unstable.
Mont-Saint-Michel is a World Heritage Site off the northern coast of Normandy in France. The island is accessible in low tide, but treacherous at high tide. In 1433, during the Hundred Years War, a small French garrison drove off an English army, leaving Mont-Saint-Michel unconquered. Its isolated location made it ideal as a prison site centuries ago, but it is now visited by more than three million tourists annually, few of whom remain behind bars.
Rugged outcroppings in Golden Canyon rise above the Death Valley desert floor like castle ramparts guarding against intruders. The landscape here is vast and unforgiving. We can pass through and admire nature’s masterworks, but we dare not linger. Golden Canyon is alluring but inhospitable.
Crater Lake, Oregon, is the deepest lake in America. Nearly two thousand feet deep, it is known for its crystal clear, icy blue water. It was formed nearly eight thousand years ago when a volcano, Mount Mazama, collapsed. In this image, a streak of yellow sun glow illuminates a shimmering streak across the water. The land still lies in cool shadow, creating a smoky visage where all seems calm and peaceful.
Pokhara, Nepal, lies at the foothills of the Himalaya mountain range. The peak shown upper left is Machapuchare, which anchors one end of a long ridge forming the backbone of the Annapurna massif. Pokhara is the site of popular tourist hiking trails for those wanting a taste of the Himalayas without the extreme effort required to scale the snowy peaks beyond.
The Milky Way over Crater Lake. Fill your screen with this image and turn off the lights. The Milky Way appears as a great white sash drawn across the night sky. In the dim glow of sunrise, thousands of stars are visible, pinpricks of light that appear as small, white smudges because of the long time exposure required to capture them.
Downtown St. Louis, Missouri, from the Gateway Arch (the shadow of the Arch is visible in the lower center part of the image). The monumental building in the center of the image is the Old Courthouse, site of many trials in the 19th Century. Cityscapes like this show both the symmetry and orderliness of human life and suggest the hive of busyness and chaotic activity underneath.
Here at the edge of the North American continent, this ice-age gorge cuts its path to the sea. Rugged cliffs on either side show the path of ice as it built a deep glacier that later retreated and left this landscape. This image shows the rugged beauty of the area but cannot capture its size and scale.
Zabriskie Point at sunrise. Located in Death Valley, this area is named for Christian Zabriskie, general manager of the Pacific Coast Borax Company, whose 20-mule teams transported borax from the valley to the coast. A solitary observer watches the golden glow on the horizon as it slowly sweeps away the black of night.
Photo credits: All photos are courtesy of Robert Greenberg and are used with his permission. Copyright 2019.