Synonymous with an earthly paradise
Shangri-La was first described by James Hilton in his 1933 novel Lost Horizon.
The Himalayan utopia, as described by Hilton, lies trapped between mountainous peaks, and is a place where happiness and youth are maintained in perpetuity.
I have seen Shangri-La.
Hidden to most, this magical landscape reveals itself to those who embrace their wanderlust. A place where the land touches the sky and light scatters about, Shangri-La is only visible to the early risers, compulsive hikers, and the dreamers of the world. Located somewhere on this planet I’ve been there before and I have no doubt that I’ll be there again.
Black & White Conversion with Topaz B&W Effects II
About the Picture --- This image was first conceived in 2011. I visited this valley during an intense hike through primary rainforest protected and owned by the Selva Verde Lodge and Preserve. Following an early morning ascent that included a precarious swinging bridge, hognose viper, steep switchbacks and bushwhacking up a mountainous slope, we arrived at the valley after sunrise. While I took many pictures that morning, I was forced to use HDR processing to reconstruct the image that disappeared as fast as the sun rose.
We returned to the Selva Verde Lodge in July 2013. Knowing that my intended photo required us to beat the sun, we began our 2013 hike to Shangri-La at 5:00 a.m. On this day the atmospherics were kind as rain clouds hung in the valley while the sun climbed the mountainous slopes. With the sun to my right and thick clouds in the foreground, I decided to use this dying tree as a way anchor my landscape. While I like what I’ve produced, I still don’t think I’ve made “The Shot” that lingers in my mind... I guess this means I’ll have to make plans to return to this Central American Shangri-La.
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