The beauty of North America is vast, offering shining seas and breathtaking vistas to those who explore it. Photographer Ian Merculieff ventures to the mountains where he’s captured some awe-inspiring images, particularly in Alaska. One of his most striking photos to date is of Denali, the highest peak on the continent at 20,310 feet. (It's the third-highest of the Seven Summits.) The image features Denali in the distance as it towers above a smaller peak and trees below. It's awash in golden and rosy hues that make the setting feel like a jewel.
Merculieff snapped the photo almost three years ago. “It is taken from Denali's south viewpoint which is about 80 miles from the actual park entrance,” he tells My Modern Met. “My partner and I had a free day and didn’t really have a plan so we decided on a whim to take a trip 3.5 hours north of Anchorage, where we lived to see if we could capture her in all her glory.”
It turned out to be kismet. “I would say about 80% of the time Denalis peak is under heavy cloud coverage. But we took a leap of faith and we were greeted with almost next-to-clear skies. It’s the best view I have seen of Denali in my many attempts to capture it with precise planning and all. A day I will never forget!”
While his Denali photo is a memorable one, there’s another image that is a favorite of Merculieff. “It is of Mt. Drum,” he explains, “also about 3.5 hours north of Anchorage. I planned an overnight trip to try and catch the northern lights above the mountain. But when I arrived it was completely covered in clouds.” Merculieff stayed up until 3 AM waiting for the clouds to dissipate until he finally went to sleep. A couple of hours later, he woke up with sunlight beaming into his room. “I rushed outside and was greeted with this sunrise. Probably one of my most well know images and while it wasn’t what I was planning for, I was not disappointed!”
Scroll down for more of Merculieff’s gorgeous landscape photography.