This next set of posts continues looking at focal points of islands - but not necessarily defined by vegetation. This particular composition is perhaps the one most similar to the painting I created several years ago shown in the About section. In both I've tried to capture the total experience of an island by exploring it simultaneously from different vantage points.
The island represented here I imagine to be shaped roughly like a teardrop. From left to right, I have shown it from above the rounded end, looking off into the distance across the water; standing just below the summit, at the head of a gorge; hovering above the water in front of the island; and (in the painting only) directly above the pointed end...a bird's-eye view.
The gorge - the island's focal point - tumbles steeply down toward the opposite shore of the island, and is walled in by rock faces (the wall on the left side is implied). It's filled with scattered aloe plants, concentrated in the higher foreground portion, which are present but rare across the rest of the island (covered by scrubby forest).
The photograph on the left-hand side of the composition was taken in Christoffel National Park on the semi-desert island of Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles (more on this island in a later post). The "gorge"-- in reality just a rocky slope--was photographed from the Montagne des Français near the northern tip of Madagascar and the town of Antsiranana (Diego Suarez). The rest of the island - actually the Pain de Sucre (Sugarloaf) in the Bay of Diego Suarez, was shot from the same vantage point.
This part of Madagascar is characterized by dry forest, including several species of baobabs, aloes (Aloe suarezensis in the photo) and other succulents. When hiking the Montagne des Français (site of an old French fort) I remember wishing that I was instead on the Pain de Sucre, visible in the distance - particularly enticing as a small island with a well-defined summit.