Patagonia – Wilderness Untamed
Where: Patagonia, Argentina and Chile – See it on a map here.
Level: All Levels – Beginner to Advanced
When: April 2 – 13, 2017 3 Spots Remaining ! – Optional Hiking Extension: April 13 – 15, 2017
April 18 – 29, 2017 2 Spots Remaining! – Optional Hiking Extension: April 29 – May 1, 2017
Tour Leaders: Christoph Fischer (photography) and local guide (nature guiding)
Maximum Class Size: 6
Cost: 7185 Canadian Dollars (~ 5500 US Dollars)
Optional 2 Day Hiking Extension: 1150 Canadian Dollars (~ 850 US Dollars)
(Includes tuition, shared accommodation, nature guides, all meals, tips and gratuities, permits, boat trip in Torres del Paine, and transport, including airport shuttles. Extension also includes catered camping and all camping gear.)
Deposit: 1600 Canadian Dollars
Registration: To register, or for more information, please E-mail me, Christoph, at email@example.com
Patagonia is unbridled wilderness. Where nature, primeval, pure, untamed, surrounds and touches every core of your being, Patagonia leaves you shaken, elated, alive. There is no escaping it – vast glaciers and ice fields, pristine turquoise waters dotted by spectacularly shaped ice bergs over which tower soaring granite massifs, buffeting, screaming winds and awe inspiring rapidly changing cloud formations, which disappear as quickly as they first appeared. Nothing is predictable here. You will laugh, scream, shudder, as you hold on to your tripod to capture sporadic, furious wind gusts transforming calm turquoise waters into wild, choppy seas. And you will feel as alive, happy and free as you ever have. Join me on a photographic adventure of a lifetime in what must be the embodiment of what true, untamed wilderness is. We visit Patagonia in the autumn, at a time when the spectacular colors of the Lenga forests peak. Wonder in awe at giant blocks of ice calving off the vast Perito Moreno glacier, one of the world’s last growing glaciers, gaze at the giant horned granite massifs, Cuernos Del Paine, and Paine Grande, of Torres del Paine National Park, which rise with a breathtaking elevation gain of as much as 3000 m over turquoise colored lakes, and at waterfalls set among peaking autumn foliage, above which towers by 3000 m the beautifully shaped Mount Fitzroy and the serrated dark wonder, Cerro Torre. Breathtaking mountain scenery set among peak autumn colors – Patagonia is nothing other than a photographer’s dream.
Not only will you experience and photograph this utterly beautiful wilderness, but you will also be able to rest in full comfort and luxury at your hotels while you enjoy 3 course dinners, delectable lunches and delicious breakfasts. I will take you to all the locations I have identified as the most promising for rewarding photography and, at the same time, you will benefit from an intense two week learning experience which is certain to transform your photography.
I have structured this workshop specifically so that hiking is kept at an easy to moderate level, so that all fitness levels can participate enjoyably and concentrate on capturing beautiful images of this spell binding wilderness! At the same time, I kept things flexible, so that if you would like to explore more of your surroundings by foot, you are free to do so. I also have included an optional two day hiking extension ( only available April 29 to May 1) to the base of spectacular Cerro Torre, one of the world’s most spectacularly shaped mountains!
Your Learning Experience:
My goal is for you to come away with great images which portray the beauty and unique nature of this incredible country. I will take you to all the locations I have identified as the most promising for rewarding photography and we will visit these only when the quality of light is most conducive for compelling images. As you photograph I will give you dedicated in the field instruction on all aspects of photography, ranging from the technical to the creative. Although we will be spending as much time as possible in the field, it is important to balance this with review sessions, lectures and processing sessions so that, as our tour progresses, you have the opportunity to appraise the photographic progress you are making, and identify those areas which need more work. I will be putting much emphasis on the creative aspects of photography such as composition and developing a vision. Another area we will be focusing on is processing and developing a workflow, which forms an extremely important part of photography, especially in the digital age.
I fully expect that you will leave this workshop as a photographer with a new vision and greatly augmented technical skills, both camera and processing wise.
Day 1: The first evening of our two week adventure! Rest and relax in our comfortable, highly rated hotel in El Calafete, Argentina, and enjoy the scenic views of Lago Argentino! We meet for our first delicious Argentinian dinner, where we have the chance to get to know one another, and where I will give you an overview of your upcoming two week long adventure!
Day 2: After a hearty breakfast we are off to my favourite part of Patagonia, Chile’s mind blowing Torrres del Paine! It is the epitome of unbridled wilderness – a world of mountains, glaciers and turquoise lakes, as rough, rugged and dramatic as they come. “The Canadian Rockies on steroids” far misses the mark.
When you enter Torres you are immersed in wilderness – weather that changes from rain to snow to sublime light within a matter of minutes, still, serene turquoise waters suddenly transforming into roaring seas and back again, towering, imposing granite massifs dipping in and out of walls of angry, churning clouds, as condors sweep above, seemingly free from it all. Embrace it, and you will feel alive, free, and as happy as you rarely have! We check in to our luxurious, beautifully located hotel and after we have settled in, we depart to our first sunset location, determined to capture images which manage to convey the character of this exceptional world we find ourselves in. After our sunset shoot, and your first taste of Patagonia’s wilderness, we return to the comfort of our hotel for a well deserved dinner and rest in preparation for the next few days adventure and photography in this exceptional wilderness.
Days 3 – 6: We spend the next 4 full days exploring all the magnificent photographic opportunities that Torres del Paine has to offer and we visit specific locations at the time of day and weather conditions which promise the best light and atmosphere. We have a choice of several lakes and shorelines, waterfalls, rivers, lenga forests and grass plains from which we can capture the awe inspiring mountain formations and cloud formations of this area. But Patagonia is not only landscape, there is some wonderful wildlife to admire, such as wild guanacos (similar to llamas), flamingos, the rhea ( an ostrich like bird), Patagonian foxes, stunningly beautiful geese and perhaps even a Puma! And last but not least, the Andean condor, with an incredible wingspan of 3.3 m, soaring above it all!
A reminder of the ever present gigantic Patagonian ice field, lurking behind these magnificent mountains, we will visit Glacier Grey and capture ice bergs as they float on Lago Grey against a backdrop of the towering mountains of Torres del Paine. There is also the option of hiking on the glacier itself. An opportunity not to be missed!
There are many different compositional opportunities, ranging from wide angle images of lakes, shore lines and waterfalls to telephoto abstracts of the light and clouds interacting with the granite spires, and we will be sure to take advantage of them!
Weather permitting we will also be sure to capture this magnificent scenery against the starry sky! Getting up well before sunrise and photographing until late after sunset makes for long, highly active days and at some point you will need to relax and unwind. I therefore have planned a day of leisure where you can catch up on some much needed sleep, take advantage of some of the recreational activities offered in this area, and spend time reviewing and processing your images with me, if you so choose.
Day 7: Our last morning at magnificent Torres del Paine and after our morning photography session and, of course, breakfast, we have to say good bye all too soon. But there is so much more for us to see and explore, and it is time to get to know Argentina! We return to El Calafete and stop on the way for some compelling photographic opportunities. We check into our comfortable hotel and after a delicious Argentinian dinner it is time to rest in preparation for a very exciting day ahead!
Day 8: After an early breakfast we are off to the vast, awe inspiring Perito Moreno glacier, one of the few glaciers in the world that is still advancing. The viewing platforms are spectacularly located right in front of the glacier’s face, a towering wall of ice.
Watch in awe as giant blocks of ice calve off and thunder into the waters of Lago Argentino, a testament to the unstoppable push of the gigantic Patagonian ice field which is at the heart of, and defines, the entire region. We return to El Calafate for some delicious Argentinian cuisine!
Day 9: It is time to visit the trekking capital of Argentina, El Chalten, and explore the home of some of the world’s most spectacular and dramatically shaped mountains, such as the serrated dark wonder, Cerro Torre, and the cathedral shaped Mount Fitz Roy, and all of it against a sea of stunning autumn colours!
Days 10-11: There is so much to explore and we will visit all those locations at the times which I have identified as giving you the optimal opportunity for capturing excellent photographs of this magnificent area. We have a choice of several waterfalls, river valleys, wind-twisted lenga forests, in peak autumn colors, deep canyons and lakes, and all of it against the magnificent backdrop of Mount Fitzroy and Cerro Torre! We have no set itinerary, but rather we will visit those locations which, given the time of day and weather conditions, promise to be graced by the best light and atmosphere.
Day 12: Our adventure in this utterly wild and beautiful part of our world unfortunately has to come to end and after our last morning session we enjoy a celebratory breakfast, not to mention the farewell dinner the night before 🙂 , in the company of newly found friends, and we look back at our two week long adventure which is over much to soon. We make our way back to El Calafete, the town where it all began. Some of you will decide to fly on to your next destination in South America or back home, while others will stay for another night before continuing their journey the following day. I will be available for our last one on one review sessions, to answer any remaining questions you may have or simply to enjoy a last drink together in El Calafete. All good things have to come to an end!
Optional Extension to Cerro Torre: I am excited to offer an optional 2 day hiking and camping extension to the base of one of the world’s most magnificent mountains, Cerro Torre, the dark serrated wonder! This is the only location where you can get clean, close up views of Cerro Torre and you may very well be able to catch icebergs floating on a lake at the base of this dramatic mountain – a truly magnificent scene! If you won’t take the extension, please scroll to the bottom, past Day 14, for more relevant information.
Day 12: We say goodbye to the members of our group who depart today and we get ready for our hike into the heart of the mountains! The camp site at the base of Cerro Torre is set up for you and all you need to bring is yourself, your camera gear and some clothes for our two nights of camping. There is also the option of hiring a porter who can carry your camera gear and clothes for you. We hike at a pace that is comfortable for all our participants and our guide and myself will make sure that you arrive comfortably and safely at our camp site. After having settled in and a light lunch prepared for us by our guides, we are off to the nearby lake from which we can view and wonder in awe at the dark serrated wonder ourselves! We spend the afternoon exploring some of the rivers, lakes and the beautiful autumn foliage which we want to use as foreground elements for our images of Cerro Torre. After our sunset shoot we return to our camp to enjoy a delicious Argentinian cooked meal by our guide and, if the weather permits, we return to Cerro Torre to photograph it under the starry sky! It has been a long day, and we return to our camp to rest in preparation for another day of exploring this spectacular area.
Day 13: Up well before sunrise we hike to some of the locations we have identified the previous day as compelling for capturing Cerro Torre in the morning light. As is typical for Patagonia, the weather changes rapidly, and we may reach Cerro Torre on a calm, windless morning, hidden in the clouds, only for the winds to pick up rapidly and Cerro Torre dramatically appearing out of the clearing clouds, for a short while, before it is all covered again.This is what makes Patagonia so exciting, and we will be there to capture every minute of it! After our morning session we return for breakfast and rest at our campsite. We spend the remainder of the day exploring, at our leisure more of the many photographic opportunities that this area provides. In the afternoon we depart for our sunset session, in the hope of capturing it all in glorious light. We return to camp and after what will be our farewell dinner under the Argentinian sky, we depart, weather permitting, to capture it all under the night sky!
Day 14: Our last morning in these magnificent mountains and after our morning photography session, we enjoy a celebratory breakfast, in the company of newly found friends, and we look back at our two week long adventure which is over much to soon. We hike back to El Chalten and after some rest and replenishment we drive back to El Calafete, the town where it all began. Some of you will decide to fly on to your next destination in South America or back home, while others will stay for another night before continuing their journey the following day. I will be available for our last one on one review sessions, to answer any remaining questions you may have or simply to enjoy a last drink together in El Calafete. All good things have to come to an end!
What is included:
Photography instruction, local nature guides, shared accommodation, all meals, tips and gratuities, permits, boat trip in Torres del Paine, and transport, including airport shuttles. The extension also includes catered camping, all meals, and all camping gear.
What is not included:
Flights to and from El Calafate, Argentina; alcoholic beverages; snacks outside of meal times; optional excursions.
How do I get there?:
We meet in El Calafate, Argentina. This is best reached by flying to Buenos Aires, Argentina or Santiago, Chile and then taking a connecting flight to El Calafate. Upon your arrival in El Calafate, all transport is taken care of for you.
What about Visas and other logistics?:
Upon request, I will be happy to supply you with detailed information regarding travel arrangements and preparations, including Visas. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration: To register, or for more information, please E-mail me, Christoph, at email@example.com