Posted by Jon Cornforth on November 8, 2017
Wow! What an incredible sunrise. These are the famous moai at Ahu Tongariki on Easter Island, also know as Rapa Nui by the original inhabitants or Isla de Pascua in Spanish. I only had to travel 12,000 miles via 4 flights around the eastern Pacific Ocean and then wake up 8 mornings in a row before being rewarded with this dramatic image. Shortly before the first light on the horizon, a cloudburst fell out of the sky which caused most of the tourists to flee back to the parking lot and some even drove back to town. Great! Now I had the statues more to myself. Unlike the delicate tourists, I was prepared with my rain jacket and travel umbrella as the next downpour approached with the intense color illuminating the sky. I kept my camera protected by my umbrella, but would briefly raise it to fire off a few frames before lowering it to wipe off the rain drops and then repeat my process.
Since I first visited Hawaii 17 years ago, I have dreamed about focusing my photography ambitions on the South Pacific. Now that I have settled in on Kauai, I am planning most of my adventures though out this area. I have many remote islands that I plan to visit and eventually publish as a photography book. This trip to Easter Island covers about as far east as I intend to travel. Already this year, I have visited Vanuatu and Fiji, and my past travels have taken me to American Samoa and Tonga. Next up is my first trip to French Polynesia later this month and potentially a trip to Micronesia in early 2018. Wish me luck and please enjoy the images that I am creating along the way.
Posted by Jon Cornforth on January 11, 2009
I am proud to announce that my favorite image from 2008 is “Torres Dramatic Sunrise”. I created this image in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park in the region of South America better known as Patagonia. I’ve been familiar with these mountains since well before I even knew what a mountain looked like. I was first introduced to the Patagonia clothing company by my Uncle Jerry way back in junior high school while growing up in Michigan. While I was very active in rock-climbing and mountaineering during the 90’s, I read a number of amazing stories about climbing the famous granite spires of the region. Even though I am no longer interested in technical climbing, I had always wanted to visit these legendary mountains and in 2007 I finally had the opportunity to do so. I loved the spectacular scenery so much, that I went back last January. I did not have enough time during my first trip to backpack to the famous Los Torres viewpoint, so I made it my main objective on this second visit. It is a 16 mile roundtrip hike up to the Torres campground, so in order to photograph the mountains at sunrise you need to camp overnight. I took enough food and equipment to spend 5 days and had uncommonly good weather. Every morning I would get up an hour before sunrise to hike up the ridge to the famous viewpoint and wait for the sunrise. I did this 4 days in a row, and on my final day I got lucky when the clouds parted for a brief moment and the sunrise light illuminated the spires in golden light. Patagonia is one of my favorite travel destinations and I am going back again on January 25 for 15 days. I am going to have a photographic rematch with Mt Fitz Roy and the elusive Cerro Torre in Los Glaciares National Park. It takes a lot of energy to travel that far for a couple of images, but the results are worth the effort. I created this image using my Pentax 67II, 75mm lens, Singh-Ray 2-Stop Hard GND filter, Gitzo Basalt tripod, Acratech Ultimate ballhead, Fuji Velvia 50 film at f22 and 3 seconds.
Posted by Jon Cornforth on February 8, 2008
I have just returned from a 14 day trip to Patagonia. It took me over 27 hours of travel to fly from El Calafate back to Seattle. I spent 5 days backpacking and trying to photograph the famous Torres at sunrise. I was fortunate that I was able to photograph the spires 4 mornings in a row. I had to hike up a big hill for about an hour every day to be in place for the sunrise. On my final attempt, the wind was just screaming and it was very difficult to shoot. Right as this cloud came over the top of the spires, there was a brief lull in the wind and I was able to capture one frame that was sharp at the peak of the drama. Please visit more of my Torres Del Paine National Park Photography from Patagonia.