SUTHERLAND FALLS, MILFORD TRACK, New Zealand (2018)
One of the real gems of the Milford track is the opportunity to get right up close to New Zealand's tallest waterfall - Sutherland Falls.
At a staggering 580m total height, water hurtles to the ground from Lake Quill, dropping 3 times and landing on a poor, solitary rock. This rock has clearly felt the full effects of the immense pressure from the water as it has slowly eroded to become smooth and one day will be washed away entirely.
When I asked my friend to stand in front of the falls, the story I wanted to tell with this image became evident and to me this picture symbolises so much.
It shows the enormous scale and power of nature and my friend adds the perfect amount of scale to show just how small we are on this planet.
It shows the impermanence of all things. Given enough time, change is guaranteed and even something immovable can be worn away with nothing but water.
But the most symbolic part of this image to me is the metaphor for the uncertainty that the future holds. As you walk into the valley leading to the falls you can see their full height, but not the detail. You make your way closer and the details become more evident, but at the same time you loose perspective and can no longer see the top. When you get to the base of the falls you can feel the full effects of all that water coming crashing down. The spray and mist cover you from head to toe and at that point all you can see is the lowest drop of the falls.
You never know what the future holds. From a distance you can fantasise where you want to be and imagine what it might look like. When you start to put together the plan and get into the details you can only focus on a shorter time frame into the future. Change and uncertainty occur which requires you to change your plans and adapt. Although your end goal may still be there, you can no longer see it and you have to step back to reevaluate the big picture.
Story telling aside, this has to be one of the most impressive sights I've seen and to make it even more amazing, what this image is showing is just the lowest drop of the falls which is the smallest at "only" 103m.