Last Moments of Light

If you're a photographer yourself, you may well have experienced that the most demanding challenges you face are the ones that leave lasting memories. It's the outer circumstances that make those moments, regardless whether they are of success or failure, so special. A picture taken from a car park, no matter how iconeous the scenery or dazzling the light, will never be the same as one that you took one day's march away from civilization.

With this in mind our goal was clear: to reach a part of Patagonia that is less known (but equally beautiful) than the crowded national parks, that all the tourists go to. But soon we had to learn, that some less travelled roads, are less travelled for a reason.

The obstacles we faced were numerous and varied from denied permissions to enter land to a broken down car in the middle of nowhere. We had spent hours building little bridges made of stones and scouting for little detours through the pampa to make a 4x4 road passable for our 2x4 Ford Ecosport. We had spent a night at a small farm where three bolivian workers cared for us when our car finally decided it wouldn't go any further. We had a lot of time to rethink our plan on the back of the tow truck, that picked us up the next morning to take us to the nearest city 150 kilometers away. We had great conversations with a some guys (again, on the back of the truck) that had ridden their bicycles all the way from Alaska to Patagonia over the course of eighteen months. We had decided not to give up. We had left civilization once again and had spent two nights at a shelter built over fifty years ago for the first expeditions to the patagonian Icefield. And we had been sure, ever since opening the shelter's squeaky metal door, that it was all worth the trouble.

Lenticular clouds enlightened by sunset
Last Moments of Light © Joerg Bonner

In the end it wouldn't have been of importance if we had taken nice shots of the area. Being there for a few days was more of a reward than we could have asked for. The sunset and lenticulars we were lucky enough to experience that evening were just the icing on the cake.

I usually don't post any videos, although filmmaking is what was there before photography came into my life. Maybe it's because I make my living working for commercial film productions and I would prefer to keep business and private life separated. Anyways, this short clip (shot with my iphone) goes to show that the above obstacles were not the last we had to overcome. Check out what the conditions where like when we exited our tent the next morning:

video

I hope that this post explains a bit of what lies behind the images I take. This is actually what my images are made of. A mix of emotional challenge and adventure topped off with some nice light and certain amount of awe.

Equipment:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM @ 40mm
ISO 100, f/11, 10 seconds
Gitzo GT1541T

Location:
Southern Patagonia, Argentina

4 comments:

  1. Fantastic! Very true about what you can achieve being farther from civilization. Some of the best memories I've had so far have been when closes to nature and farthest away from mankind ;)

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    Replies
    1. thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, natalia!

      after checking out your website i'd guess your best memories have something to do with auroras!? an awesome memory indeed :)

      best,
      joerg

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  2. Thanks for the comment.

    Well, yes Pirin is beautiful mountain. I'm glad you want to come and see it. If you do, write me and I'll send you hut's phone numbers, tell you of some nice places to go, and help you with something else if you need.

    Svetoslav

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Don't hesitate to get in touch with me! Feel free to ask me any questions regarding the images, places or whatever you want to know.