December 29, 2013

The White Cliffs of Iturup

Photograph by Alexey Kharitonov

This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Photo Contest Images

White rocks have stretched for miles alongside the shore of the Prostor Bay. They are formed of a very light and soft pumice as a result of the huge volcanic eruption. This pumice is being eroded by the storms of the Okhotsk Sea, by the rains and numerous small rivers that form the amazing shapes of the rocks. At the foot of these rocks lies an unusual black-and-white beach, consisting of chopped white pumice and black lava sand. And every morning that we camped there, fresh bear trails appeared on this sand. Iturup island.

(This photo and caption were submitted to the 2013 National Geographic Photo Contest.)


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50 comments
c. lin
c. lin

很壮观!震撼!

Max Kulikovsky
Max Kulikovsky

Russia just never ceases to amaze me with its hidden treasures like this beach. Stunning shot!

zhang kun
zhang kun

the montain,the sea,the sky,I love this place.

Sandra Hickman
Sandra Hickman

This is just a WOW sight to behold. Great photo. Beautifully captured.

Shannon T
Shannon T

Wow, that is stunning. Well done.

Jana Seale
Jana Seale

Is it possible to buy a print of this amazing photograph?

Janice H.
Janice H.

Absolutely, perfectly magnificent with it's color and setting       Takes you to a place of Peace.    

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

All this rugged beauty, and bears too!  The green caps are worn well by these white cliffs, and so I have another awesome picture to admire. It would have been nice to have seen more of the black 'white beach,but you cant have it all. j.e.s.

Xuan Nguyen
Xuan Nguyen

Thank you for taking such a beautiful picture of Nature .

Ani Degré
Ani Degré

Looks like a digital painting -very beautiful 

Lawrence Sibley
Lawrence Sibley

The photographer has stepped out into the water to get this point of view.  The white foam along the oscillating line of the high water mark defines the depth perspective between the coast and the cliffs that converges to a point creating a wedge shape of landscape.  The vivid blue sky penetrating the fog and the intense green of the vegetation balance what is basically a grey tone scale in the rest of the image.


The absence of any human footprints in the sand of the beach solidifies the impression of this being a photo of nature in its undisturbed, pristine state.  Too bad those bear tracks didn't make it into this photo. 

water bird
water bird

@Janice H.   how ironic, this tiny little "paradise" that appears so peaceful could become the excuse for another senseless "cold war".

Patrick Boone
Patrick Boone

@ALEXEY KHARITONOV This is one of the best photos I have ever seen. You captured so much natural wonder in it. It's nice to see an artistic side of Russia, even though I side with Japan on this island.

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