Photographer Peter Lik Surveys the American Landscape
Peter Lik’s first photograph was of a spider web covered in dew, taken with a Kodak Brownie camera he received from his parents when he was eight years old. Today, the self-taught photographer from Melbourne, Australia, is one of the most acclaimed panoramic-landscape photographers in the world. And with the exposure of his television show, From the Edge with Peter Lik, he’s one of the most well-known. “Every morning, I just want to jump out of bed and photograph nature,” he says. “There is so much to see in the world.”
In words almost as evocative as his images, Lik describes the photographs seen here.
“Heaven on Earth”
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The Grand Canyon has to be one of the most photographed places on Earth. I was compelled to capture the grandeur of such an epic place. After doing a heap of research, I found a remote four-wheel-drive track to the North Rim and decided to take the chance. The drive in was brutal. Four hours later, I arrived at the North Rim. Late afternoon light blasted the cliffs, and the stormy skies added a magical touch. I stood on the edge and shot roll after roll until it was completely dark. No one else was around. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
Standing beneath the canopy of this Japanese maple tree was an incredible feeling. I was in awe as the late afternoon light backlit the delicate leaves. Every branch told its own story. I used a really wide-angle lens to reach out to as much of the tree as possible. I put my camera on the ground to give me a strong perspective to shoot up into the skies. As the sun sank toward the horizon, the tree came to life with an incredible display of color, shape and texture, its rays burst into a star within the tree.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Nature is so beautiful in so many ways. Deep in the walls of this canyon, I felt an amazing presence. I was well underground, close to nature’s heart and soul, staring up at the most beautiful sculpture I have ever seen in my life, carved entirely by nature’s hands of time. The red rocks provided an incredible red reflector, highlighting this phenomenal piece.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Timing is critical. I knew that in early spring, the sun would rise in the exact perfect location behind this arch—all I needed was the weather to cooperate. I had made several pilgrimages to the arch, only to be greeted by clear, bland skies—my biggest fear. On the fifth morning, things finally changed. I set up my camera in the crucial spot, and waited with my heart racing. The skies lightened as the sun cracked the horizon. The moment was perfect. The arch lit up with an amazing glow, and it felt good to finally capture what I was chasing.
All Photos Courtesy of Peter Lik Galleries