PATAGONIA – WILDERNESS UNTAMED!

Patagonia is unbridled wilderness. Where nature, primeval, pure, untamed, surrounds and touches every core of your being. 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 and awe inspiring rapidly changing cloud formations, which disappear as quickly as they first appeared. Please enjoy below a selection of images I have taken, and I hope you will agree that Patagonia is a location you need to add to your bucket list. All of these images were taken at locations to which I take my workshop participants  during my annual  “Patagonia- Wilderness Untamed!” photography workshops. I hope you enjoy!

1) A rugged, dramatic world of granite mountains, with elevations gains of as much as 3 km (~ 2 miles)!

Patagonia is a mountain landscape like no other. Mountains of sharp, chiseled granite, with some of the world’s most dramatic reliefs, towering above you with breathtaking elevation gains of as much as 3 km!

One of the world’s most beautiful and majestic granite spires, the unforgettable Mount Cerro Torre in Patagonia, Argentina, is clothed in intense, red alpen glow, its reflection broken by thin layers of ice which formed during the cold, windless night. The peak, at an elevation of 3.1 km, towers by 2.6 km over the lake in this image!

The magnificent serrated peaks of Patagonia’s Cerro Torre must be one of nature’s outstanding sculptures. There is no need for compelling foregrounds or spellbinding light shows to complete the image; it is all in these pure, simple and beautifully textured granite spires.

A short lived moment of breathtaking beauty when a granite outcrop in Patagonia’s Torres del Paine catches fire, in the continual fight between light and darkness.

Fierce winds drive off snow and ice from the peaks of Paine Grande in Patagonia’s incredible Torres del Paine National Park. There is a whole world of drama and grandeur to be found far above, in the peaks of mountains.

Dwarfed by the granite massifs of Torres del Paine, towering by 2 km over these grass lands. a guanaco rises from rest and strides through the windblown golden grasses of Chile’s Patagonia region. The guanaco is a subspecies of lama found in Argentina and Chile’s Patagonia region as well as the altiplano of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. They are very hardy animals and seem to withstand with little effort some of our planet’s most extreme conditions.

Gorgeous spotlight illuminates the majestic peaks of the Cuernos del Paine in Torres del Paine . It is the constant interplay of ever changing cloud formations and light that make photography so special in Patagonia!

I fired off several shots, but I finally succeeded! On a less stormy afternoon in Chile’s magnificent Torres del Paine, I spent some time trying to capture the lapping waves of a turquoise colored lake when they all lined up and drew a perfect curve against the black sand, leading up to the amazing Cuernos del Paine, towering above.

2) What makes Patagonia truly special is the rapidly changing, unpredictable weather in a constant battle between light and darkness. You will be blessed with moments of light and drama like nowhere else in the world!

An unforgettable morning in Torres del Paine National Park. Gale force winds transform the calm turquoise colored waters of Lake Pehoe into a raging sea, blowing away crashing waves and literally lifting the water off the lake surface, all of this against the unforgettable mountain backdrop of los Cuernos del Paine!

Patagonia is the epitome of wilderness untamed. Jagged, glorious granite spires, with breathtaking elevation gains of up to 3 km, dipping in and out of rapidly changing cloud cover, in a primal struggle between light and darkness. The glorious Fitz Roy mountain range in Argentinian Patagonia emerges from the clouds, as strong winds put an end to a cloudy, overcast morning.

This is what I love about Patagonia! As I hiked in to Cerro Torre, I was surrounded by drizzle and clouds. It was miserable; I wanted to turn around and go back to sleep. But just a few minutes later it was all graced by the most beautiful light!

Mountain weather can be frustrating and challenging, but every now and then, for a brief, fleeting moment, you are gifted with sublime, soul stirring light of a quality you could not have imagined. An unforgettable morning in Argentinian Patagonia!

3) Waterfalls and streams galore! Patagonia is not only a world of mountains. You will find the most beautiful streams, river valleys and numerous waterfalls, not to mention the incredible turquoise lakes of Chile’s Torres del Paine!

On a rare cloudless morning majestic Mount Fitz Roy, in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National park, illuminated in the first light of day, towers over a small, peaceful mountain stream.

As the waters of Canyon de las Vueltas roar beneath, the first light of day touches the peaks of Mounts Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy, as the sky turns an intense, beautiful pink!

A beautiful waterfall, surrounded by intensely colored autumn foliage complements towering Mount Fitz Roy, as it is touched by the first light of day.

4) Autumn colors galore! In April, the forests of lenga trees in Patagonia explode in a sea of colors, as intense as the best the deciduous forests of the Northern Hemisphere have to offer! The combination of rugged, granite mountains, covered in snow, and a surrounding sea of colorful autumn colors is truly breathtaking and needs to be seen to be believed!

A distant waterfall tumbles into a sea of autumn colors. Captured in Argentina’s incredible Lago del Desierto area, which we also visit during our Patagonia workshops.

When I came upon this beautifully intricate grove of lenga trees dressed in intense autumn colors, I knew I could not pass up the opportunity. The dead branches and beautifully shaped black tree trunks add an interesting and effective graphical element to a sea of autumn colors.

On your way to view the chiseled features of  Mount Fitz Roy in Argentinian Patagonia, you will be able to enjoy this  beautiful view of a low lying valley permeated by winding, turquoise colored rivers. And In autumn, the rivers are complemented by forests of lenga trees in beautiful autumn colors!

5) A world of giant glaciers and blue icebergs! Patagonia is home to the giant southern icefields and  glaciers are to be found everywhere. The ice in these glaciers is the bluest and most beautiful I have seen, and the combination with the surrounding mountain scenery and colorful lenga trees is breathtaking.

Deep blue icebergs, so typical of Patagonia , contrast against the towering mountain ranges of Torres del Paine, bathed in the golden light of the setting sun. The white tongue of land in the background is part of distant glacier Grey, from which these icebergs originate.

Argentina’s mindblowing Perito Moreno glacier is a sight that needs to be seen. Gigantic and breathtakingly beautiful, it is one of the world’s last advancing glaciers. There is an excellent board walk close to its face where, several times every day, you can see large pieces of the glacier break off and crash into the water. This image was taken from a much more distant viewpoint. For a sense of scale, note the boat which is returning after a sightseeing tour.

 

A sequence of images capturing ice breaking off Argentina’s Perito Moreno glacier. These glaciers are what give many of the lakes and rivers in Patagonia their beautiful turquoise color, just like the Canadian Rockies, but much wilder!

I hope this series of images gave you an idea of the wild beauty of this amazing land of mountains, turquoise lakes and glaciers. I have so many more images I could share with you, but I don’t want to take more of your time! I hope you agree with me that Patagonia is a part of the world that you must make every effort to visit!

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