#101 Patagonia’s “carrera austral”, so much beauty for so few…. (2)

By philberphoto | News

May 06

Up to now, Boris and I had been basically shooting along the road. Here is one example of how modest the Carretera Austral is…But, after we arrived in Valle Exploradores, things changed. We went on long walks, on treks down to riverbeds, close to cascades, through rainforests, up towards glaciers. Different shooting opportunties, different natural wonders. Rather than continue a chronological exploration, let’s us look into each theme.

Starting with Boris’ special love: cascades. He is, I think, actually a closet cascade fetishist, and we must have shot more than 40. We had endless discussions as to the differences between cascades and waterfalls. That was before I discovered that I had forgotten the word “cataract”. To Boris, of course, in German, they are all a “Wasserfall’….

Here is an example of Boris shooting one of his beloved waterfalls (or is it a cascade?)

You can shoot them in real time, showing the speed and the flow…

or you can use a ND filter and slow down exposure until the water is somewhat silky and milky…Youcan shoot them with Canon 5D III and Zeiss ZE glass as above, or with NEX 7 and  Zeiss ZM 35 as below.And sometimes, you can get lucky, when the cascade offers you a private little rainbow…Sometimes, it can be just white water…or water with amazing clarity….There of course, you see active cascades. As it rained quite a bit, water was everywhere; But a few days of dry weather, and some of them looked like this


But enough cascades. At Valle Exploradores, we were reminded that Patagonia is far South. So far that glaciers are to be found almost down to 1000m above sea level. And, just so that you don’t forget that such latitudes are not always graced with beautiful weather, here is how one scene looked, which we had to “earn” with a very arduous climbAnd, please note, this is a colour shot, not a B&W conversion. When I saw what it looked like, I actually increased the colour saturation..:-)

But not all glaciers are as fogged in and shapeless as the ventisquero colgante (hanging glacier) on top of the Valle. Others look wonderful, like this one, to be found in the remarkable Parque Nacional Queulat

And the same one, from a different perspective (and a different hike)

Frankly, the only thing they have in common, is that this one too requires a really hard walk up, especially if you are overweight, not that youg any more, less than fit, carrying rain clothing, a 10-kg camera bag and a tripod. Like me, for example…

But that walk started through the fabulous Bosque Encantado, or “enchanted forest”, one of the most extraordinary cold rainforest hikes in the world. So says Boris, who should know. He has now walked all of them except Tasmania, and intends to publish a book of pictures on this theme.

So, in order to enter the Bosque, we need to enter the Parque Nacional, and engage on a walk, across something like this:See you across the bridge for the next instalment…