Three-Years Ago (13-March-2015) — Chile

Gone to See Patagonia 2015 Photography Tour with Thom Hogan. Day 12: Lago Grey, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.

We spent morning in and around Hotel Lago Grey. In the afternoon we took the bus to find views of Torres del Paine. The panorama views were created as composites of multiple images using AutoPano Giga Pro. Best viewed in full screen mode.






Individual images from any of the above slide shows can be viewed here.

Six-Years Ago (08-January-2011) — Chile

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 13: Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.

Guanaco Running at the Entrance to Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. We were working on taking landscape images when two Guanaco’s started chasing each other. At one point they ran right through our group, and I managed to take this picture. Two days earlier we had been practicing taking pictures of horses in motion, which helped me take this one. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/16, 1/100 sec). Later on there was a Guanaco framed on a ridge with the mountains behind.

Guanaco Running at the Entrance to Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/16, 1/100 sec). (David J Mathre)
Guanaco Running at the Entrance to Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/16, 1/100 sec). (David J Mathre)



Individual images in the slide show can be viewed here.

Two-Years Ago (14-March-2014) — Iceland

Gone to See Iceland 2014 – Winter Photography Workshop. Day 6: Golden Circle.

Pair of Friendly Icelandic Horses Near the End of Winter. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 24 mm f/1.4G lens.

Pair of Friendly Icelandic Horses Near the End of Winter. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 24 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec) (David J Mathre)
Pair of Friendly Icelandic Horses Near the End of Winter. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 24 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec) (David J Mathre)

I am not providing the name or recommendation for the workshop leaders for this trip. One of the reasons I signed up  was the opportunity to photograph Northern Lights from Iceland. In 2013 I got some great images of the Aurora Borealis in Tromsö, Norway and hoped to do the same in Iceland. I arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland two days before the workshop and arranged a private tour with TripsByLocals.com to go Aurora Hunting. It didn’t look promising when we left the hotel (snowing an hour earlier). For the first 2 hours the sky remained mostly overcast. We then found a spot where the sky started to clear, and started to see the Aurora. It was cold and windy, but I found a place behind the van where I could set up a camera on a tripod. I was able to get 80 images which I used to create a time-lapsed video. The moon was almost full, and lit up the snow covered lava field in the foreground. It turned out that this was my only opportunity to get some good images of the Aurora on this trip. My father commented that it was not as good as the images I got in Tromsö last year. The weather for the Iceland workshop did not cooperate – lots of rain and snow with significant cloud cover. On the first day of the workshop we were supposed to fly from Reykjavik to Höfn but the weather in Höfn didn’t cooperate (even though it was sunny in Reykjavik). After spending some extra time waiting in the Reykjavik airport, it was decided that we would fly to Egilsstadir and take a several hour bus ride to Höfn. On the positive side, I got to see some of the Fjords on the east coast of Iceland, and on the negative side I lost a camera battery on the bus ride between Egilsstadir and Höfn when we had to change from a big 55 passenger bus to a smaller van. Once we got to the airport in Höfn we transferred to the van that would be our transportation for the rest of the workshop. Our first stop was the black sand beach on the coast next to the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. Every day when the tide goes out, ice that calved from the glacier in the lagoon goes out to sea, then when the tide comes in, the ice lands on the black sand beach. The makes for some great photo opportunities. However, as we arrived the rain started. We could only stay out for about 15 minutes before getting soaked in the cold and windy rain. We then went to Hotel Smyrlabjörg. I stayed at the same hotel last summer. The Icelandic food served at dinner was outstanding. When I went to sleep it was still raining. During the night the wind increased to the point it sounded like a train was passing outside my window. At about 01:30 AM I woke up and could see some stars in the sky outside my window. I went outside to get a look. It was still very windy. Windy to the point that I could barely stand up. I took a couple of pictures, and could see that the Northern Lights were starting – but there was no way I would be able to stay out in the gale force winds. So I went back to bed. The next morning at breakfast our workshop leader was gushing about how great the Aurora was between 03:30 AM and 05:30 AM. Unfortunately, he didn’t bother to wake the majority of the workshop participants even though he stayed out taking images for his portfolio. There were lots of apologies and excuses that he didn’t know what rooms we were in, but we were all staying in adjacent rooms. This turned out to be the one and only night that the Aurora were visible during the workshop. I was lucky to get the one night before the workshop to see and photograph the Aurora. Most of the others that spent thousands of dollars to see and photograph the Northern Lights as part of the workshop were very disappointed.

Five Years Ago (02-January-2011) — Argentina

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 8: Hosteria El Pilar.

Images from around Hosteria El Pilar near El Chalten in Argentina. When we saw the orange clouds developing at dusk over Mount Fitzroy we all left our deserts and rushed out of the dining room with whatever camera we had nearby. Some said the cloud looked like a shrimp, a dragon, and a Praying Mantis. I may have wished I had a different camera at the time, but didn’t chance missing the show.

The other images include a bee approaching a Pink Lupine flower, a horse and reflection of Mount Fitzroy at dawn, and then several early (02:00 to 03:00) night sky images. This was the first time I saw the Southern Milky Way, and an upside down Orion constellation.

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)
Bee Approaching a Pink Lupine in Patagonia. Hosteria El Pilar, El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (David J Mathre)
Bee Approaching a Pink Lupine in Patagonia. Hosteria El Pilar, El Chalten, Argentina. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 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 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)


Four-Years Ago (08-January-2011) — Patagonia

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 13: Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.

Three Andean Condors Soaring in Patagonia. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/14, 1/800 sec).

Three Andean Condors Soaring in Patagonia. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/14, 1/800 sec). (David J Mathre)
Three Andean Condors Soaring in Patagonia. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/14, 1/800 sec). (David J Mathre)