WRITTEN BY: ALEX BROWN
Most of the time, if you’re looking for sexy nature photos on the internet, or a photographer wants to wow you with a landscape shot, or a “modern website” needs a shiny background photo for their homepage, you can bank on that photo being taken in Yosemite National Park. I’ve been there, and it is excruciatingly beautiful—but how does it measure up to the great Canadian outback?
If you ask photographer Jimmy Dau, not well. In fact, after exploring some of the world’s most renowned natural masterpieces, Dau submits that nothing comes close to the wild aesthetic splendor of the Canadian Rockies. I’ve been there too, and I’ve gotta say—he makes a good case. There is a purity to the northern wilderness, not simply because it often goes untouched, though that is part of it. But there is also a haunting contrast between the harsh climate and a landscape that looks half Disney, half film noir. You won’t find lakes this blue in Yosemite.
Not to mention the highways that stretch through the Canadian mountains are infinitely less infuriating than most. For one, a blind sloth riding a wagon could navigate the trans Canada highway drunk off his ass, on account of the fact that this one highway stretches the entirety of the country. But you’re also afforded views of soup-bowl valleys catching the aqua-blue glacial runoff that thrives in a landscape as desolate as it is divine. The scenery is so distinctly occult, one expects the clouds to part and rays of golden light to shower the highway and the voice of God to thunder over the valley and through the mountains, announcing claim on the land too spectacular to be left in the hands of mortal beings.
Unfortunately that is yet to happen. But take a look at these photos from Jimmy Dau, and try to tell me I’m wrong to expect it.