Monday, May 11, 2015

New Release - Patagonia

  It has been called the greatest landscape in the world. Located in the far corners of South America, the Patagonia region of the southern Andes boasts majestic mountain peaks rising nearly two miles above turquoise glacial lakes, vibrant fall color, a barren desert, twisted forests, and some of the largest glaciers in the world. I am pleased to release what I consider to be my most compelling body of work to date, from Los Glaciares, Argentina, and Torres del Paine, Chile.
  With travel time of almost 30 hours, Patagonia is not an easy place to travel to.  Accommodations on the Argentina side are limited to hostels and camping.  A closer view of the mountains involves 10+ mile hikes, heading out near 3am to get in position for sunrise.  But with some of the most impressive peaks in the world, wildly unpredictable weather, desert, glaciers, snow, turquoise lakes and autumn color all at once... it is a photographer's paradise.
  It didn't take long for my adrenaline to rush.  Within hours of arriving to El Chalten, a lenticular cloud was looming over Los Glaciares for most of the afternoon.  I took a short, but steep, hike up to a ridge that overlooked a river and valley leading towards the mountain range in the distance.  Like clockwork, the lenticular cloud was ablaze with light for about 10 minutes as the sun dipped below the horizon.

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  Unfortunately, the next morning, a storm came in, leaving us stranded for a full five days. While mountain photography can be quite exhilarating with good light, the weather can be completely unpredictable.
  When the storm finally subsided at the end of the week, it left us a gift... several inches of new snow on the landscape. Well rested, I set out near 3am towards Mt. Fitz Roy. Getting there just as the moon set behind the mountain, I set up my camera, standing in a cold glacial stream. While I waited, my feet felt like blocks of ice.  But as I began to feel the warmth of the rising sun over my shoulder, the scene before me emerged from the darkness of the night.  As the first morning light began illuminating the landscape,  I felt chills witnessing one of the most beautiful portraits of nature I have ever seen .. an early glow of the rising sun on Fitz Roy, reflected in the cold glacial steam below, with new snow and fall color peaking through the foliage. It was a moment I will never forget.

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  We were blessed with good weather the last few days in Los Glaciares, with daily hikes out at 3am for sunrise shoots, and exploring and scouting during the day.  A couple of flat tires and car breakdowns later, we drove across the border to Torres del Paine, Chile.  Equally as majestic, probably not as diverse, but with much more accessible shooting locations than the Argentinean side, Torres del Paine boasts a series of glacial lakes with the two iconic mountains most people associate with Patagonia: Los Cuernos del Paine and Paine Grande.  The weather is equally unpredictable. Torres del Paine can be one of the windiest places in the world, with gusts of up to 90mph, while another day the mountains are reflected like glass on perfectly calm waters without even a breeze.  Torres del Paine is one of the places where nature does all of the work for you; making good photographs here is effortless.

  My most memorable morning was the first morning I arrived.  Setting out in the dark under the light of the moon, I watched as some low level fog rolled in.  The lakes were completely calm.  The mountains were reflected like a mirror.  The diffuse light of the moon and glow from the impending sunrise illuminated Paine Grande about an hour before sunrise.

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  Just next to Paine Grande, Los Cuernos del Paine ("the horns of Paine), is probably the most recognizable peak in Patagonia. As the sun began to rise, the glow on the mountain and low level fog remained for just a few moments before a heavy fog rolled in and the mountains faded from view. I knew I had just captured something very special.

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  Everyday I was there, something special happened... the unique combination of light and weather made each photograph unique.  From reflected light on the Salto Grande River leading towards Paine Grande...

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... to cloud streaks behind Los Cuernos del Paine on a windy evening...

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... and the alpenglow on Cerro Torre, one of the world's most impressive peaks, at sunrise...

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... I was able to connect with place like few others I have been.

   My trip to Patagonia had been in the planning for almost two years. When planning my time there, I knew when I went that I wanted to come back with one photograph that said "Patagonia." There were more than a few times that I pressed the shutter and thought I had it. But towards the end I realized what an impossible goal that was. In fact, there is, and never will be, that one photograph that could possible capture the diversity of weather, shapes and landscape that exist here. Each image I captured speaks about one particular facet of Patagonia, and when viewed together tell a story about one of the most beautiful places on earth. Each photograph captures a unique moment in time, never to be seen again.

  Please contact me to purchase a fine art print, which will provide a lifetime of viewing pleasure. I hope you enjoy.

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