Sunday (02-January-2011) — Argentina

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 7: Hosteria El Pilar, Southern Hemisphere Night Sky, Fitzroy Massif at Sunrise and Sunset, and Chorrilla del Salto Waterfall.

Since everyone was tired from the long hike yesterday, we decided to take day 7 as a relatively light day to rest. This gave me the opportunity to do some early morning night sky imaging. This was good in that the weather forecast was for us to start seeing more clouds. I went out at about 03:00, knowing that it would start getting light sometime after 04:00. The further south we go, the shorter the nights!

As the sun started coming up, I got more images of Fitzroy from within walking distance of the Hosteria. After a leisurely lunch at El Pilar, we went into town and on the way back stopped at the Chorrilla del Salto waterfall for some photographic instruction. A lot of the local residence were using the waterfall to cool down on a hot summer Sunday afternoon.

While eating dinner at the Hosteria with a view of Fitzroy we observed a beautiful display of pastel colored clouds. Everyone stopped eating before the dessert could be served and ran to get a camera (if they didn’t have one with them). The view was magical.

Southern Hemisphere Milky Way. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4 G lens (ISO 100, f/4, 50 sec) (David J Mathre)
Southern Hemisphere Milky Way. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 50 mm f/1.4 G lens (ISO 100, f/4, 50 sec) (David J Mathre)
Reflection of Fitzroy in the Morning with a Horse. Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 400, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/25 sec). Patagonia workshop with Thom Hogan, Day 7. (David J Mathre)
Reflection of Fitzroy in the Morning with a Horse. Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 400, 50 mm, f/2.8, 1/25 sec). Patagonia workshop with Thom Hogan, Day 7. (David J Mathre)
Colorful Caravan under Lenticular Clouds in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Leica D-Lux 5 camera (ISO 80, 8 mm, f/8, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Colorful Caravan under Lenticular Clouds in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Leica D-Lux 5 camera (ISO 80, 8 mm, f/8, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Chorrilla del Salto Waterfall near El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 87 mm, f/8, 1/50 sec). (David J Mathre)
Chorrilla del Salto Waterfall near El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 87 mm, f/8, 1/50 sec). (David J Mathre)
Silhouette of Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia at Dusk with Glowing Orange Clouds from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Leica D-Lux 5 camera (ISO 80, 19.2 mm, f/5.6, 1100/sec) (David J Mathre)
Silhouette of Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia at Dusk with Glowing Orange Clouds from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Leica D-Lux 5 camera (ISO 80, 19.2 mm, f/5.6, 1100/sec) (David J Mathre)

Saturday (01-January-2011) — Argentina

Happy New Year! And May the Light Be With You!

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 6: Hosteria El Pilar, Fitzroy Massif at Sunrise, and a Hike to Laguna Torre.

Some of us got up early in the morning to see what Fitzroy would be like at sunrise. Thom didn’t even need to leave his room since his window looked right at the Fitzroy massif. I actually went out to look a bit earlier to see the southern night sky, and realized that Orion was upside down. I hope to get some night sky and star trail images later in the trip if the weather continues to cooperate. I was able to set a camera up in several locations just in front of the El Pilar for as the early morning light began to develop.

After breakfast, we set off to El Chalten to pick up our guide and start a hike to Laguna Torre. This was a long hike with some elevation gain, bringing us to a glacial lake at the base of Fitzroy. It was relatively warm, and on the way back I could tell that I was overheating – and needed to cool down. At one point Rob, our Wilderness Tours trip leader poured some cold water from a glacial stream over my head. The rest of the hike back was then OK as long as I kept a slow pace.

Early Morning View of Fitzroy from El Pilar Hosteria in El Chalten. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4 G lens (ISO 100, f/11, 1/5 sec) (David J Mathre)
Early Morning View of Fitzroy from Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 50 mm f/1.4 G lens (ISO 100, f/11, 1/5 sec) (David J Mathre)
Senda a Laguna Torre. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, f/4, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)
Senda a Laguna Torre. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, f/4, 1/60 sec).
Multilingual sign with info and regulations on the trail to Laguna Torre. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, f/4, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)
Multilingual sign with info and regulations on the trail to Laguna Torre. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, f/4, 1/60 sec).
Female Magellanic Woodpecker. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec) (David J Mathre)
Female Magellanic Woodpecker. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec)
Patagonia Panorama. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 16-28 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 31 mm, f/11, 1/200 sec). Five image HDR with Nik HDR Pro. (David J. Mathre)
Patagonia Panorama. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 16-28 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 31 mm, f/11, 1/200 sec). Five image HDR with Nik HDR Pro.
Hikers on the trail to Laguna Torres. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, f/11, 1/160 sec) (David J Mathre)
Hikers on the trail to Laguna Torres. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, f/11, 1/160 sec)
Laguna Torre Panorama. Composite of 4 images from a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, f/11, 1/40 sec) combined using AutoPano Giga Pro. (David J. Mathre)
Laguna Torre Panorama. Composite of 4 images from a Nikon D3x camera and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, f/11, 1/40 sec). Images combined using AutoPano Giga Pro.

Friday (31-December-2010) — Argentina

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 5: Estancia Helsingfors, Equitrecking, then Travel to Hosteria El Pilar just outside of El Chalten.

We started the day riding horses on a trail to an alpine lake. Most of the group chose to ride the horses, even though many of us had not been on a horse for many years. The horses brought us to a point near the end of the trail which we needed to complete on foot. Our gaucho took an image of me riding the trail with my Leica V-Lux 20 point & shoot camera. One thing that all of us on the horses learned was the need to apply sunscreen to the tops of our hands, which were all sun-burned by the end of the trip. That afternoon after getting back to Helsingfors, we checked out and took the bus to Hosteria El Pilar just outside of El Chalten. This location is much closer to Fitzroy. So far the weather on the trip has been unusually clear for Patagonia. Note that I don’t like the color profile for these out-of-the-camera jpg images.

Equitrecking at Estancia Helsingfors. (David J Mathre)
Equitrecking at Estancia Helsingfors. (David J Mathre)
Turquoise Lake Panorama. Equitrecking and Hike Destination Estancia Helsingfors, Glacier National Park. (David J Mathre)
Turquoise Lake Panorama. Equitrecking and Hike Destination Estancia Helsingfors, Glacier National Park. (David J Mathre)

Thursday (30-December-2010) — Argentina

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 4: Estancia Helsingfors.

This was our first full day at Helsingfors. We started out by getting up early (before sunrise) to see if Fitzroy would be visible, and if there would be any interesting colors. Since this is summer in the southern hemisphere – getting up early means before 4:30 AM. Helsingfors is right on Lago Viedma so we didn’t have to walk far. Fitzroy presents a side view from Helsingfors, and can potentially be seen lit up both at sunrise and sunset. This morning it was not very visible being hidden behind clouds. I did get a panorama of the mountain right across the lake. Later, when it was light I took some images of Lupines with the lake and the mountains to the north. Before lunch, the group worked on techniques for taking images of Horses. A local Gaucho rounded up a small herd of horses and we got to photograph them in the corral, running in a field, and crossing a small stream. In the afternoon, the group went on its first short hike to a point just beyond the Helsingfors property in the National Park. On the way I found a small waterfall and spent some time with Thom working out how to best capture the image. The wind was very strong at the point. Coming back from the hike we found many examples of the local Green Orchid, which we tried to capture with macro lenses. The sun doesn’t go down until late, and it is after 10 PM when we are trying to capture some images of Fitzroy lit up as the sun goes down. All in all, a very long day but well worth every minute.

Sunrise Panorama across Lago Viedma from Estancia Helsingfors. Composite of 7 images taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens. (David J Mathre)
Sunrise Panorama across Lago Viedma from Estancia Helsingfors. Composite of 7 images taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens. (David J Mathre)