As I noted in my previous post, 2012 Top Ten People & Animals, 2012 was a busy travel year for me with trips to Patagonia, Galapagos Islands, Acadia and the American Southwest on my itinerary. Photography travel can be a crapshoot since weather and light are such impactful variables on our quest for wonderful images and you never really know what they will be like until you arrive at your location with camera in hand. In my Patagonia journey last year, we arrived at our shooting location before sunrise to get the early light on Mt. Fitzroy and were rewarded with beautiful soft pink light on the peaks and overhanging cloud formations. Unfortunately, the winds were gusting over 50mph which made focusing the camera and keeping the camera still in order to get a crisp image virtually impossible.
Without further ado here are my 2012 top ten landscape images.
We spent several early mornings at this location in Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina and got a number of very nice images. This rainbow appeared suddenly as we were packing up to leave and I scurried back to a proper shooting location while at the same time trying to get my tripod extended and camera out of the bag. I managed this image just before the rainbow disappeared.
The high velocity winds were blowing dramatic cloud formations across the horns of Torres Del Paine National park in Chile late in the afternoon. This five-minute exposure smoothed out the heavy wave action and gave the lake a satin like finish which I think works very well with the rest of the scene.
The Perito Moreno glacier, just outside of El Calafate, Argentina, is part of the southern Patagonian ice field situated in the Andes Mountains. The ice field spans Chile and Argentina and contains 48 glaciers. The Perito Moreno glacier is 19 miles long and 3 miles wide at the point shown in the above image and Its height (above and below the water surface) is 560 ft. or about the height of a 55 story building.
This is as close as you can get to Mr. Fitzroy without donning ropes and crampons. The technical assent to climbing the mountain begins on the other side of the lake. Getting to this point for sunrise required rising at 5am, switching on our flashlights and climbing 1200ft on a trail that was very steep and covered with ice. We arrived at this vantage point about 15 minutes before sunrise and were rewarded with this beautiful light on the peaks which lasted less than 5 minutes.
This is an iconic view in Zion National Park that has been photographed millions of times from a bridge spanning the Virgin River. On an Autumn afternoon, you may see as many as 30 photographers on this bridge waiting for sunset. This peak is called the Watchman and the glow on the peak on this afternoon was particularly nice.
This scene is just outside of El Chalten, Argentina in Los Glaciares National Park. We were a few miles away from here and had been photographing the large cloud formation you see in the image. As the afternoon wore on it became obvious from the sun position and cloud formations that there was the possibility of an extraordinary sunset. We all clambered into our bus and raced down a dirt road to the lake and found this little stream leading into the lake, a perfect place to capture this wonderful scene.
Cadillac Mountain, located in Maine’s Acadia National Park, is the highest point (1500ft) on the Atlantic seaboard from Newfoundland to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It’s key geological feature is the pink granite dominating the entire top of the mountain.
File this image under the totally unexpected. It had been a terrible photographic day with blah skies, little foliage and uninspiring scenery. I was in this location because I was scouting a covered bridge a few hundred yards up the road for a future trip. Just as I’m folding up my equipment to leave, the sky turns a glorious red. You just never know!
Early morning scenes in Patagonia are frequently rewarding even if they don’t turn out exactly as expected. We set up for an expected sunrise over a lake and were disappointed but looked in a different direction and found this beautiful color lighting up shafts of light on the mountainside,
Lagunda Nimez is a wildlife sanctuary in El Calafate, Argentina. I shot this image an hour before heading to the airport and it was the last photograph I made in Patagonia.
So there you have it…my ten favorite landscape images from last year. I will do very well if I capture ten images in 2013 that are as good!
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