If you are a photographer and go to Tenerife, forget about Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas where the most holiday makers head to when visiting Tenerife, the largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands. Drive through banana plantations, whitewashed villages and shuttered colonial buildings straight into the middle of the island, where you are going to be seduced by the rugged beauty of the Del Teide, the third largest volcano in the world and the World Heritage Site. The extensive pine forests, juxtaposed against the volcanic landscape and the volcano itself, visible from most parts of the island will keep you busy for days. A bit about the history of the island to explain its extreme geological beauty – the mountain ranges here rose from the Atlantic Ocean as a result of a gigantic volcanic eruption. That happened some twelve million years ago, but if you think that the volcano activities are a thing of the past, you are wrong, as there were at least four eruptions in the 18th to the 20th century. The last eruption was in 1909 and its effects can be seen at Chinyero in a form of a massive cinder cone. Inland Tenerife has everything: truly high mountains, golden, green and black sand dunes, exotic flowers including the famous Tajinaste rojo (tower of red jewel), amazing pine trees with soft long needles, desolate rocky landscapes with craters and underground galleries, lava fields, deep scary ravines and surprisingly fertile valleys.
The National Park at the foot of the Teide Mountain (3718m) is incredibly varied and picturesque. Spectacular volcano and lava flows can be seen for miles. This dead bush on the footpath leading to the Teide cable car creates an interesting foreground in my photograph.
Continuing my journey up the mountain road towards San Cristobal, just before the Observatory, I have reached some hidden gorges and impressive cliffs offering some spectacular views with a few scarcely scattered plants.
Rocks of all shapes and colours can be found all over the island; the most well known is La Tarta, a bit further on the same road towards San Cristobal. Here, predominant colours are brown and black, but I have seen some amazing pink and green rocks as well.
The lunar landscape changing into a fertile dense forest unfolded before my eyes on the road towards La Oratava. The hills were criss-crossed by some off road tracks in the deep red, mars-like coloured ground.
Apart from having an incredible climate, Tenerife has possibly some of the most interesting low clouds travelling fast over this relatively small area of two thousand kilometres. This gave me a fantastic opportunity to photograph the woods in the thick fog.
The most exciting time in the Teide National Park is just before the sunset. A layer of the low laying cloud creates this unique phenomenon of a sunset before the actual sunset. This one was taken near Los Retamares.
The road from Del Teide towards Los Gigantes is possibly my favourite road as it offers some great trees and rocks silhouettes against the setting sun. Relatively low area of La Asomada del Gato allows for some glimpses towards the sea, as long as there are some breaks in the clouds.
The dramatic moon-like scenery of extraordinary rock formations over Barranco del Infierno is fascinating when combined with the long exposure. Fast moving clouds lit from underneath enabled me to achieve this dramatic, contrasty view.
Beata Moore is a professional photographer and writer. She has written a number of books including “The Channel Islands”, “Portrait of Wimbledon”, “The Square Mile – photographic portrait of the City”, “Cracow: City of Treasures”, “A Year in the life of the New Forest” and “A Year in the Life of the Cotswolds”.