Sunwapta Falls, Rocky Mountains, Canada

AUGUST 2002 – Sunwapta Falls on a clear summer day. The river surrounds a small heart shaped island before becoming thundering waterfalls. © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

When you travel along the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) in the Canadian Rocky Mountains between Jasper and Lake Louise, you will find several awesome locations and hikes. For example, about 55 kilomter south of Jasper, there is the short hike to Sunwapta Falls, which are fed by the Athabasca River.

What makes Sunwapta Falls so special is the heart shaped island at the top of the falls, which is bypassed by the water of the river right before it thunders down for about 18 meters.

I love this photo not just for its clear, saturated colors but also because of its inherent metaphor – even the most powerful river (events in life) cannot harm the heart-shaped island (our love). I remember having opted for a long exposure time to capture the motion blur of the water which makes the image even stronger. And the hiker admiring the scenery is the icing on the cake, so to say. Awesome.

The high resolution image

Capture Date22-AUG-2002
LocationJasper National Park, Canada
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
LensCanon FD 70-210 mm f/4
Image SourceFuji Slide Film
Digital Image SourceMinolta Dimage Scan Elite II
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, AdobeRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions2419 x 3738 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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