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.
Nikonians Academy Big Sur Workshop. Day 1 – Morning.
The group attending the Nikonians Academy Big Sur Photography Workshop with Michael Mariant was scheduled to meet for breakfast in San Simeon. I walked down to the shore along the Pico Creek before breakfast to get some early morning images. The first is of the succulent sea fig (Carpobrotus chilensis) plant and its flower. It turns out that this is an invasive species. I then saw some tracks in the sand. I wondered if they were from a mountain lion, but since the nails were present — probably a dog. There was a lot of drift wood on the beach. Some had been used to build a wind shelter. After breakfast, the group went to Piedras Blancas beach to view the Elephant Seals. The same place I was the previous evening. While Michael was beginning his workshop, I managed to catch a patrol of Brown Pelicans flying over in formation. Several more images of the Elephant Seals, including one with a Chipmunk on the sand. The final image includes the Piedras Blancas Rock and Lighthouse in the background (and a yawning Elephant Seal near the bottom right).
The Purple Crocuses have started blooming across the street. This is a good sign that spring is coming. In order to get a deeper depth of field (DOF) I took several images each with slightly different focus points, and then combined the images using Helicon Focus get the composite image. The focus range was just around the flowers, keeping the background leaves out of focus.