Photographing the Most Powerful Forces of Nature

Paul Bride traveled the world to bring back the most incredible images of fire, sand, ice and water.
Swells collide
Waves crashing in Hawaii © Paul Bride
By Andrew T Crafts

Photographer Paul Bride was lying in bed at 3 a.m. in his home of Squamish, 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.

Icebergs sourrounded by cold and calm water.
Icebergs floating in the cold and calm water © Paul Bride

Ice - The Arctic

"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 of gear and camping in the fjords of Ilulissat Greenland photographing glacial ice dating back 15,000 years."

Icebergs bump and shift under the midnight sun.
Icebergs under the midnight sun © Paul Bride

Water - Tahiti

"Seventy 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."

Heavy rain, filtered sun and the back of a breaking wave.
Rain, sunshine and waves © Paul Bride
The tube of the wave is coming closer.
Tube © Paul Bride

Fire - Kilauea

"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."

Molton Lavva cooling out.
Cooling molton lava © Paul Bride
Incredilbe display of color when the lava hits the water
Lava hitting the water © Paul Bride

Earth - Namibia

"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."

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