Usually the end of a year – or the beginning of a new one – marks the period of looking back. Unfortunately last year didn’t quite turn out to be THE year to be looked back at. And so I will take the freedom to look back even further, to a time when things were still going a different course. Five years ago, I was hunting light in Patagonia – and exactly on the 4th of January I found myself high above El Chaltén, looking at Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy from a new perspective I had discovered a few weeks before.

Late in the afternoon I had already set up my bivi bag on a meadow, using a bush as a protective shield against the wind. Although the air was still at the moment, I wanted to be ready for the notorious winds of Patagonia. The clouds hovering above the area formed a familiar and promising structure. A long band of clouds spanned from north to south, leaving blue skies in the west – clearly a sign for a good sunset. As usual, at the sight of such clouds, I could feel excitement build up inside of me, but I knew it was still too early to become all fired up. For the moment I would just have to wait.

Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy reflected in an infinity pool during an intense sunset.

Double Delight

And that was something I had just recently learned. For a long time I had not been interested in waiting at all. I used to arrive just in time to shoot whatever I could point my camera at. I was in a constant hurry. And while this was mostly owed to my travel style, it definitely had an adverse effect on my photography. It took me years to understand how important coming prepared and then stepping back and letting things happen was. This time I came prepared. I had been here before. I knew exactly where to put my camera. And so I made myself comfortable in the grass, next to the pond I had chosen as my foreground, grabbed a book and started reading…

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 38mm
ISO 100, f/11, 1.3 seconds

04. January 2016 @ 22:02

5 exposures blended for dynamic range. Processed in LR and PS.