the First Wonder of the World

120 kilometers south of Kunming, China exists an ancient area that was once under a vast ocean and home to a multitude of sea-life. It is the first wonder of the world and one of the most amazing landscapes I've ever seen.


The path that wanders endlessly through these ancient beautiful karst formations will have you ducking and crawling.


The anticipation was overwhelming me on the three hour taxi ride from my hotel in Kunming. I'd done my research on the Stone Forest and in my mind I compared the sense of perspective to the Grand Canyon in the United States. I expected it to be so vast that understanding it would require meditation and pause.


million years old

On assignment for National Geographic Magazine there's always a sense of pressure in the back of your mind. As I walked in with the team, I was blemished by a rash of emotions. Something I'd never felt before... A mixture of beauty and focus as I double-timed my running to somehow find the best place to set up my Unmanned Aircraft and "Fly the Camera" in a place I'd never seen and had yet to understand.




On the first flight, I flew a video camera so that I could get the lay of the land and pocket a few moments for the video which was later created. The second flight, I made 30 images carefully designed to capture the lines and beauty of this unimaginable area.

L I N E S drawn by time

96,000 acres of karst formations

Two days later, our time in Shilin is over. We have to move to our next region in China. This bitter sweet departure was my first impression of a country that I immediately fell in love with. People as wonderful as the land they live on; I'll always long for more.



Stone Forest (Shilin), known since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.).

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