Leaving bed early to go on a pre-dawn walk with unknown outcome often turns into a mental challenge for me. The uncertainty that comes with landscape photography made me change my mind many times before. I have skipped alarms, turned around on the doorstep and even turned around after having walked half way to my destination. Unfortunately for me, even with the most careful planning, the only way to find out if the walk is worth it, is to walk it.

Arranging to meet a fellow photographer for a sunrise shoot generally helps with the situation and puts enough pressure on me to not skip the alarm. Luckily enough I had run into Andrew Waddington in El Chaltén a few years back. He’s not only a great photographer and all around great guy, he also – just like me – had returned for the 15/16 season, spending an extended time in Patagonia.

Fitz Roy at sunrise in winter

Gentle Call

This one winter morning, just like many times before in the past months, Andrew and me teamed up to shoot Fitz Roy at sunrise. Way before the sun came up we started our hike in Parque Nacional los Glaciares. Patagonia’s jagged mountains were still dressed in the purest blue of the early hours. The wind that haunts El Chaltén during the summer months was long gone and the cold air seemed to be standing still. In the light of our headlamps the eery shadows of the Lenga trees around us danced quietly. The only sound was the crackle of frozen leaves under our boots.

We reached our destination long before daybreak. We were standing in the middle of a meadow looking up the valley. Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy looked a bit different from this angle – I had never been here before. Everything around us was quiet. Despite the cold, pearls of sweat had formed on my forehead. I wiped them away with the sleeve of my shirt before grabbing my down jacket and a hat from my backpack. I exhaled. The tougher part of my work had already been done, now it was time to wait and see if it paid off. And this morning it definitely did.

Fitz Roy Sunrise
Parque Nacional los Glaciares

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 160mm
ISO 100, f/8, 0,3 seconds

11. July 2016 @ 09:34

Single exposure processed in LR