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Frans Lanting rides the Iguazu Falls

Frans Lanting

on the power and the glory of the Iguazu Falls

on the power and the glory of the Iguazu Falls

October/November 2017

I took this picture early in the morning, as the sun was rising, when all was mist and mood. I don’t use filters; it was just like this. Even though with digital technology you can process images any way you want, I still believe in the discipline of searching for the right circumstances, the right light and tone, as I want my pictures to be believable reflections of my experience of what it’s like out there.

I spent several weeks taking pictures of the Iguazu Falls, from both the Brazilian and Argentine sides. I think the falls are among the most stunning sights on the planet. They are not a continuous curtain of water, but a system of 275 waterfalls and cataracts that all drop into a deep gorge. The national park straddles the border, and has well-organised infrastructure, which allows millions of visitors to come close to the amazing drop-offs without affecting the ecosystem unduly.

With this image, I’m standing behind the falls, on the Argentine side, right there in the middle part, looking over that dizzying drop. For me, the picture is all about the extraordinary power of nature. I know it sounds like a cliché, but you get such a strong sense of the power of the water. On the flip side, as a result of weather volatility triggered by climate change, there has been much more variability in the volume of water coming over the falls – there was even a period when there was very little water for weeks. It shows that even iconic places that we consider to be sacrosanct examples of the power of nature are changing as a result of our impact on the planetary weather system.

My motivation continues to be the same as it was decades ago: to document the state of nature around the world and to convince people that it has an impact beyond the horizon. It’s a global system; our actions in the northern hemisphere can affect a waterfall in South America.

“Into Africa” by Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom is published by Earth Aware Editions
When visiting the Iguazu Falls, stay at Posada Puerto Bemberg

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