My latest post to the Outdoor Photographer blog, The Power of Photography, discusses the link (albeit sometimes tenuous) between photography and reality, and how that link differentiates photography from other forms of art. The image below, taken in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, appears in the post. I made this image on the final morning of my just completed Epic Patagonia photo workshop, which I co-led with fellow Creative Vision instructor Richard Bernabe. The night before, rain and clouds had moved in, and both Richard and I predicted a shut-out for our final shoot the next morning. We tried to stay upbeat, however, and I told our students that I’ve never had a workshop that didn’t end with a bang. I might have been exaggerating slightly. Nonetheless, we awoke the next morning to starry skies above. Racing to a location we had scouted the day before, mist and clouds moved in over the mountains, and it began to look like our earlier predictions might be right. Just before the sun rose, however, the clouds began to lift, and the famous Horns (“Los Cuernos”) peeked out. At sunrise, the mountains were bathed in beautiful light. A perfect way to end a workshop!
I used the rapid in the river as my foreground, zooming in with my wide-angle lens as the rocks were twenty feet away from me. I would have liked to get a bit closer but the water in the river was too cold, too deep, and moving too fast! Aside from the color and mood, I was attracted to the symmetry between the rapids in the lower left and the shape of the cloud in the upper right. These two elements, working together, form an abstract curve that leads the eye through the image.
Richard and I are beginning to plan next year’s Patagonia workshop. We plan on making a few changes, including making the workshop more “road-friendly” (this year we did some backcountry trekking, something that we will cut next year). We’ll be posting details for next year’s workshop within the next few weeks, so stay tuned!
Technical details: Canon 5D Mark II camera, 24-105mm lens (@35mm), polarizer filter, 2-stop reverse neutral density graduated filter, ISO 200, f/11, 0.8 seconds.