Photographer Paul Bride was lying in bed at 3am in his home of Squamish, BC, Canada when he had an inspiriation: “I’m going to photograph the most powerful forces of nature that have shaped the planet - water, fire, sand, and ice.”
It took two years, a lot of air miles, and a lot of nights camping alone, but he finished the series - photographing these four natural elements at their most powerful. Paul’s images (and words) are below...
The Arctic has the largest icebergs in the northern hemisphere. Greenland above the Arctic Circle represents ice.
For 10 days I walked lonely under the midnight sun armed with only my camera and my thoughts to keep me company, carrying 125 pounds (57kg) of gear and camping in the fjords of Ilulissat Greenland photographing glacial ice dating back 15,000 years.
70 percent of the planet is covered by water, but I couldn’t just show up on any given day to these locations and expect a massive wave to be in full effect. There were weeks of looking at maps, wave reports, and weather patterns.
Tahiti is home of Teahupo’o, one of the heaviest waves on the planet. This represents water.
Kilauea, on the big island of Hawaii, is the planet’s most active volcano represents the element of fire.
I spent five days photographing alone and living out of a cargo van, bushwhacking through the jungle by headlamp, and hiking miles of lava fields, finding the spots where lava met the ocean.
I arrived in Namibia after 43 hours of travel. I was there for only one reason: to photograph the desert.
I spent a week alone camping in the Namib Desert photographing just before the sun came up and before it set - the rest of the days were spent frying in a tent alone and sleeping.
Sossusvlei, Namibia has some of the largest sand dunes on the planet, and the Namib is the oldest desert on record with no sustainable water source for 55 million years.
My intention was to step back from the devastation and capture the alluring quality of four of the worlds most hostile and powerful forces of nature that have shaped the planet but in an appealing display of natural light and colour.