Torres Dramatic Sunrise 1

My Top 10 Favorite Photos of 2008, #1

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.

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