CULTURE & ARTS

These Miraculous Photos Of Water Are Just One More Reason Why Conservation Matters

Bernhard Edmaier was a geologist long before he was a photographer, and it shows.

A chocolatey stream curls through layers of earth, stacked high, pink and cake-like. From above, it’s hard to tell the scale: is it a tiny, moldy rivulet cutting through a crack in the ground, or a massive body of water?

That’s the wonderful thing about Bernhard Edmaier’s photos: they make nature into an optical illusion -- a stunning work of art that we should work to preserve.

In Water, a new collection of photographs out this month, Edmaier captures the almost fantastical appearance of some of planet Earth’s most peculiar aqueous features. An erupting volcano in Iceland, a crystal-like glacier in Switzerland and an amoeba-like reef are all captured from above, displaying the variety of beauty the world has to offer.

It helps that Edmaier was a geologist long before committing to a career in photography -- and, his wife, who travels with him on his expeditions, still works in the field of geology, too. On his personal site, Edmaier notes, “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.”

During a past exhibit, Edmaier said of his work, “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.” So, his aim is to keep a log of these features while they’re still around.

And he travels great lengths to do so. Ninety percent of his photos are taken from the sky, either from a helicopter or a small plane. Look below to check out stunning overhead views of Iceland, Malaysia and beyond.

  • San Juan River, Utah, USA
    Bernhard Edmaier
    San Juan River, Utah, USA
  • Disko Bay, West Greenland
    Bernhard Edmaier
    Disko Bay, West Greenland
  • Art Atoll, Maldives
    Bernhard Edmaier
    Art Atoll, Maldives
  • Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland
    Bernhard Edmaier
    Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland
  • Fjallabak, Torfajökull Massif, Iceland
    Bernhard Edmaier
    Fjallabak, Torfajökull Massif, Iceland
  • Findelen Glacier, Valais, Switzerland
    Bernhard Edmaier
    Findelen Glacier, Valais, Switzerland
  • Isluga Volcano, Andes, Chile
    Bernhard Edmaier
    Isluga Volcano, Andes, Chile
  • Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
    Bernhard Edmaier
    Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

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