Laguna Torre Cloudy Reflection 1

Laguna Torre Cloudy Reflection 1

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Each year, the summit of Cerro Torre eludes climbers from around the world mostly due to the atrocious weather. They most often spend weeks or even months tent-bound patiently waiting for the weather to clear, but it rarely does. My own experience trying to photograph Cerro Torre has been equally challenging. Between my first visit in 2007 and 2 visits during my recent trip, I’ve spent 8 days attempting to photograph it. If I had been at the lake the day before I created this image, I might now be sharing a sunrise picture of the mountain surrounded by beautiful orange clouds and a calm reflection. However, I hesitate to say that my recent attempts were totally unsuccessful, because I created this mysterious image. Though I could not see the summit at sunrise, an hour later the clouds became thin enough to allow the summit to peak through a hole while Laguna Torre was almost a perfect reflection. This image captures the drama of the typical conditions beneath this impossible spire more so than any image that I might have originally hoped to create. I am sure I will someday return to photograph Cerro Torre during a more ideal sunrise, but do I need to? I created this image with my Canon 5DmkII, Carl Zeiss 35mm f2 ZE lens, Singh-Ray 4-stop Soft Graduated Neutral Density filter, and tripod. It required minimal processing using Aperture 3.

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6 thoughts on “Laguna Torre Cloudy Reflection 1

  1. Sometimes I wonder if the quest for the perfect picture blinds us to the reality of the great pictures.

    A while back I saw a picture on Flickr of some sea stacks in the fog… The photographer complained bitterly in his description about the ‘crappy light’ that prevented him from getting the ‘epic shot’. But frankly, I thought it was an ‘epic shot’ even if it wasn’t the one he wanted. The light and fog combined to create something reminiscent of a Japanese painting. (And after me an several other commenters made the same point, he eventually agreed with us.)

    But I have to admit, there *is* a visceral thrill in nailing the perfect one…

  2. Derek-

    Your observations are totally correct. Though, I am kicking myself for missing “the” shot the day before, I am in 100% agreement that I came away with something better and more unique. The talent of a photographer is the ability to see beyond the obvious and come home with an image that forces an emotion. I believe that I have achieved my goal with this image. Thank you.

  3. Jon – this is a fantastic shot, and I completely agree with both your assertion and those of the Derek’s – this is a much more unique shot than most, and I think it really works well. Given that Patagonia is one of the last great (somewhat) untouched regions, I think this is an excellent representation of its beauty.

  4. More of a photographer’s photographer take on this mountainscape. Sure a blazing sunrise would probably have more appeal to the masses but it would be hardly unique like this shot.

  5. Brian-Thank you! Moments like this are only rewarded from deliberate patience.

    Kah Kit-I am glad that you agree with me. This image captures more of the raw beauty of Patagonia than a typical image with nice sunrise light ever would. It conveys a fleeting wonder that causes the viewer to explore the image and ask questions, rather than clobber them over the head with the obvious. I’m still going to return, but not to photograph from the lake again.

  6. Jon, the discussion here (and on Facebook) inspired me when I saw the Olympics last Friday…

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