The mountains often provide a spiritual experience, not only for travelers seeking adventure but also for creatives seeking inspiration. Anyone who has photographed the world’s most breathtaking peaks can attest, as our previous features on the Dolomites, for example, show. The latest to join our favorite photos of dramatic peaks were taken by Madrid-based adventure and travel photographer Javi Lorbada.
Late last year, Lorbada traveled to Tongario National Park in New Zealand, home to the active Mount Ruapehu stratovolcano and the famous Whakapapa ski field on its northern side, and the incredible wilderness plateau. There, he also photographed the neighboring Mount Ngauruhoe, another scenic yet active stratovolcano. Along with Mount Tongariro, the three peaks form the so-called Tongariro volcanic complex. As we can imagine, the combination of all the snow, the rolling fog, the high altitude, and the trio of volcanoes combine to create some of the most picturesque landscapes known to travelers and photographers.
As this series proves, Lorbada didn’t let these wonderful scenes go to waste. He captured all the stunning colors that served as backdrops of the snow-capped peaks, from dreamy pastels, the orange glow of the sunset, the serene blues, and even the starry deep indigo of the velvety night sky. The series is also visibly minimalist, which worked really well to emphasize the beauty of the snowy slopes — something that looks and feels even more dramatic and compelling given that these are all still active volcanoes.
If you’re fond of photographing the dramatic beauty of mountain landscapes and are looking for your next destination, Lorbada’s work is proof that the Tongariro volcanic complex will not disappoint.