If you’re a photographer yourself, you may well have experienced that the most demanding challenges you face are the ones that leave lasting memories. It’s the outer circumstances that make those moments, regardless whether they are of success or failure, so special. A picture taken from a car park, no matter how iconeous the scenery or dazzling the light, will never be the same as one that you took a day’s march away from civilization.

With this in mind our goal was clear: to reach a part of Patagonia that is less known (but equally beautiful) than the crowded national parks, that all the tourists go to. But soon we had to learn, that some less travelled roads, are less travelled for a reason. The obstacles we faced were numerous and varied from denied permissions to enter land to a broken down car in the middle of nowhere. We had spent hours building little bridges made of stones and scouting for little detours through the pampa to make a 4×4 road passable for our 2×4 Ford Ecosport. We had spent a night at a small farm where three bolivian workers cared for us when our car finally decided it wouldn’t go any further. We had a lot of time to rethink our plan on the back of the tow truck, that picked us up the next morning to take us to the nearest city 150 kilometers away. We had great conversations with a some guys (again, on the back of the truck) that had ridden their bicycles all the way from Alaska to Patagonia over the course of eighteen months. We had decided not to give up. We had left civilization once again and had spent two nights at a shelter built over fifty years ago for the first expeditions to the patagonian Icefield. And we had been sure, ever since opening the shelter’s squeaky metal door, that it was all worth the trouble.

Lenticular clouds in Patagonia.

Last Moments of Light

In the end it wouldn’t have been of importance if we had taken nice shots of the area. Being there for a few days was more of a reward than we could have asked for. The sunset and lenticulars we were lucky enough to experience that evening were just the icing on the cake. I usually don’t post any videos, although filmmaking is what was there before photography came into my life. Maybe it’s because I make my living working for commercial film productions and I would prefer to keep business and private life separate. Anyways, this short clip (shot with my iphone) goes to show that the above obstacles were not the last we had to overcome. Check out what the conditions where like when we exited our tent the next morning:

I hope that this post explains a bit of what lies behind the images I take. This is actually what my images are made of. A mix of emotional challenge and adventure topped off with some nice light and certain amount of awe.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM @ 40mm
ISO 100, f/11, 10 seconds
Gitzo GT1541T

19. March 2012

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