acseven
acseven

Warming Light - Chile, Patagonia



A warming light against the strong winds and gushes of glaciar waters of Lake Pehoe, Torres del Paine, Chile.

A warming light against the strong winds and gushes of glaciar waters of Lake Pehoe, Torres del Paine, Chile.
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9 Comments | Report
SusieADavies
 
SusieADavies October 23, 2016
i love this
acseven
acseven October 24, 2016
Thank you, Susie!
tracyduplooy
 
tracyduplooy October 24, 2016
Well Done!! Beautiful Photo.
acseven
acseven October 24, 2016
Thank you, Tracy!
shirleyfenner_9069
 
shirleyfenner_9069 October 24, 2016
Oh my,soooo good . What planning , a lot of thought went into that shot.
OhioFoto
 
OhioFoto April 30, 2017
Beautiful!
jarrodreque
 
jarrodreque August 15, 2017
Nice shot! Follow my Viewbug and add me on instagram @jrequeallday
KatieMcKinneyPhotography PRO+
 
KatieMcKinneyPhotography August 22, 2017
Nice! Voted
Alwolfe Premium
 
Alwolfe October 02, 2017
Stunning!
ela_v
 
ela_v February 11, 2018
Perfect!
Nostroboy PRO
 
Nostroboy July 25, 2018
Congrats on this beautiful shot !

Behind The Lens

Location
This self-portrait was taken at Lake Pehoé, right in the middle of Torres del Paine National Park of Chile, while was traveling through several locations of the Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia region.
Time
On that day I was hoping to get one of those colourful Patagonia sunsets, but instead the Sun hid behind the horizon while heavy rain clouds moved very fast over both the Lake and the Cuernos del Paine mountain range, the latter visible in the background. Dusk turned out to be full of dark and dramatic clouds, all contributing for an eery and tense mood, giving me the chance of making something completely different from what I had idealised.
Lighting
With daylight swiftly fading away, there wasn't much time for much experimentation: I setup my camera on the tripod, somewhat below eye-level, and framed the composition that I found best captured the scenery over the Cuernos del Paine. I was using a cable release shutter with an intervalometer and I had setup that up to shoot around 10 exposures in a row. The duration of each exposure varied in each series, though I wanted to have as long exposures as I possibly could in order to blur out the wading waters of the lake. This creative decision resulted in very tricky conditions to get a good shot: I had to stay perfectly still for over 10 seconds, daylight was fading away really fast and gushes of airborne water from the lake was repeatedly covering the lens with water drops, not to mention soaking myself.
Equipment
At the time I was using my previous main body, a Canon 5D Mark II with an EF 16-35mm f/28L wide lens, mounted on a very sturdy Manfrotto tripod. Other than those, the remaining critical components of gear were the intervalometer release shutter and the cleaning cloths, which were put to work after every series of exposures. As a lighting prop, I was holding a battery powered LED forehead lamp.
Inspiration
I had planned to try and use a "holding light in my hands" concept as much as I could during this trip. I believe I did that successfully in a few locations, and this was one of those moments. The light is a very small detail that makes the composition work in a loop for the viewer. It should be pretty obvious that the rocks behind me form an arch that is concentrical with the iconic mountain range in the background, and that my body is positioned in such a fashion that it reaffirms that relation, suggesting the viewer to first look at the contemplative individual and gradually move their eye into the background. But what happens then is that the small light I'm holding becomes a lot more relevant as your eye moves away from it: when your eye reaches the mountain range, it's focus spans back over to the light on my hands and from there the viewer enters a visual loop, moving back in forth between the foreground and background subjects. In my opinion, this is of tremendous relevance and elevates the photograph, as it forces the viewer to dwell on it.
Editing
As per usual with most of my photography, this exposure wasn't subject to much post-processing, other than dust spot clean up, as well as tonal and sharpness corrections in Lightroom. I think it's a good example of staying true to the subject, though always minding to make it visually appealing.
In my camera bag
Beside the gear I mentioned earlier, I tend to carry an extra camera body with me and at least a couple of other lenses, being the 70-200mm f/4L the second most important on my kit. The bag will be full of other accessories, such as extra-batteries, cards, cleaning materials, something to write on and with, and of course, my iPhone. With this kind of trip you never know if what you packed is the absolute appropriate gear, but you have to compromise in order to be able to move around, especially when doing long hikes.
Feedback
There is plenty of tips to be taken out of this single shot, either with positive and negatives aspects, but I'm choosing one particular tip for those that want to improve this type of contemplative "one-individual celebrating in silent awe whatever is on the background" shot. If you look closely, you'll find me sitting down on a rock. This happened for several different reasons: one is that I wanted to be somewhat in the water so that some of it surrounded me in the frame, but I also didn't want to get my feet soaked with icy glacier water. To make this happen I'm standing over some small rocks, but I couldn't stand still balancing on them. So I placed my self sitting down, locking my elbows against my legs and pressing my fingers together, thus making it possible to hold still for 10 seconds. The other reason is the tip I wanted to share with you, which is that I wanted to have my body perfectly contoured against the background and that would be impossible to do if I was standing up. I actually tried that but the shot wasn't all that interesting as my upper body morphed partially with the mountains. By sitting down, I was able to create a clear divide between myself and my surroundings in the frame, becoming instantly identifiable by the viewer.

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