It isn’t an easy task to choose a few images out of more than 400 I have from this trip. The ones I choose as favourites are either favourites for aesthetic reasons, or because they also have an interesting story behind them. Please take the time to read the description of each image as you will gain an understanding of what goes behind the scenes when a photographer takes a photo. There is often much more than the eye can see! In case you haven’t noticed, when you view the images in slideshow mode, below each image on the right side there is a link that read “View full size” that allows you to view the image in a larger format.
Salto Del Agrio, Neuquen. The water from the slopes of the volcano carries lots of sediments that deposit along the way and give the colours you seen on this image. They are the natural colours, they are more vibrant early in the morning.
Lake Huechulafquen and the Lanin volcano, Neuquen. Park rangers direct the visitors to the north side of the lake, where the facilities are, campgrounds, etc. I wanted to be able to photograph the volcano with the lake in the foreground, so we drove the south side of the lake. We pretty much had the place to ourselves to enjoy.
The chances of getting a photo of gauchos crossing a stream with the volcano in the background are close to nil, unless you can arrange for it. That is rarely possible for non-professional photoshoots. That day there was a gaucho encounter down in the valley and gauchos passed regularly on the road, crossing the bridge you cannot see in the image. I watched and watched and watched, without being able to decide to grab the camera. All the gauchos were using the bridge. I finally thought that I should get a shot before all the gauchos had gone down. I grabbed the camera, checked the settings and started looking for a viewpoint that would not show the road nor the bridge. I didn’t get much time to decide. I heard these two gauchos arrive and heard the horses enter the river. Unfortunately I was on the wrong side of the bridge!!! I just went quickly under the bridge and framed this image and a couple more before the show was over. All the other gauchos before and after crossed on the bridge never in the river. I got what I was looking for. Was it luck, instinct?
I got up early to photograph this volcano at sunrise. I had not really found a suitable viewpoint the night before, so I started driving looking for a suitable place. The light was getting brighter but I couldn’t find a place I liked. So I drove back to where I had started, and running out of time just parked along the road and jumped out, through the bushes, to the water’s edge. I thought these two rocks would have to do as a foreground. The clouds kept hiding the volcano, so my hopes of getting a good shot were not very high. I decided to do a long exposure to turn what could potentially be a bland image into a decent one. The long exposure made the water super smooth, the clouds dreamy, and the overall image reminds me of a Japanese painting. It is simple in composition, but contrasty, very calm, with a depth created by the dark rocks in the foreground, the shore in the shadow on the right, and finally the soft volcano in the distance. This is my favourite image of the trip!
We were having lunch on the beach when I noticed some commotion in the water. This seal was having his lunch and the seagulls where trying hard to get a piece of it. I first noticed the seagulls and later realized what was happening.
Mount Fitz Roy, outside El Chalten. The weather is rarely clear over the mountains here. I took a number of shots over a period of time, with the clouds always covering at least part of the summit. This was the only short break in a two hour period!
I have a number of photos of the Perito Moreno glacier. It is an impressive sight and photos can’t do justice to its size and beauty. I chose this one because the debris in front give perspective to the image, as well as convey the feeling that the glacier is alive, breaking, and advancing. I don’t mind the cloudy sky as it prevents the eye from wandering away and keeps the viewer focused on the ice.
There is a saying that every photo has a story. This one is no exception. That day we saw many guanacos with beautiful landscapes behind, but … I couldn’t decide myself to take a photo. I missed a number of good opportunities. As we were driving down the road I suddenly stopped, parked the car and got my gear out. And I started walking straight uphill. From the road there was absolutely nothing special to see. What I had seen was the sharp peaks and a chance to get to eye-level if I could get on top of the hill between them and the road. To my surprise, once I did get on top, not only I had in front of me the view I had imagined, but two guanacos were peacefully grazing and barely paying any attention to me. I only had to maneuver to frame one guanaco in front of the peaks, and voila! Somehow I think the image has something to it that says it wasn’t shot from the side of the road. But maybe it’s just my imagination.
I had come across a photo taken from this spot on the internet, so I looked for it and found it. We returned at sunset and I took a number of exposures to get the full spectrum of light and colours recorded in the camera. It was a challenge to properly and accurately blend all the exposures to get a final image that represents what I saw at the time.
We visited a king penguin colony in Chile that includes about 25 to 30 couples. This one decided to get away from the others and started walking away, alone. I followed it as it went for a splash in the water and finally disappeared in it.
On a different occasion these two king penguins were among a colony of much smaller Patagonia penguins. They really looked like kings, towering above the others and walking with a proud attitude. I like this image because of the geometry of the necks, beaks, and colour spots.
This guanaco was feeding down in the grasses, but once in a while it was poking its head up to heck the surroundings. I could see that there was an unusual image of its neck and head surrounded by the grasses. I stayed with it for a long time trying to focus the camera during the brief times it had its head out. After a while I could shoot a few frames and this one is the cleanest.