║ Paine Grande, Patagonia
04 December 2015
This is an image of Paine Grande in Patagonia (Chile). Paine Grande is the hightest of the peaks and less photographed than “The Horns” and “The Towers”. The image is a creation that I did for the Australian Professional Photography Awards and it went through a very interesting process to become the final image printed for the awards.
I took the photograph from a boat during a photography workshop using a Medium format Pentax 645D and a 300mm f4 lens (equivalent to a 230mm full frame). It was taken at midday (actually none of my entries were taken either at sunset or sunrise) and when I looked at it at home I liked it but I did not love it and I certainly didn’t think that it was an image that could do well in this competition.
For some reason, I still thought that the image had some potential and I particularly liked the fact that it wasn’t a "photographed to dead landscape icon" such as the Horns...
A couple of photographers had liked the composition so I started to play with it a bit and cloned the clouds from the bottom part and put them at the top surrounding the mountain to create a more atmospheric effect (and to remove the horrible blue sky).
I was liking it more but there was still something missing and so when I asked for advice from my friends in The Light Collective, Ricardo Da Cunha suggested placing birds somewhere. I liked the idea and since I had some condors photographed from other trips I started to play with the image. I had never placed birds before and so it was a very interesting creative process. Initially I put three condors on the top left hand side, then one closer to the peak and I finally went for two. I tried different positions and sizes until and I (and Ric) were happy with it.
The image had some technical difficulties as the post-processing created some "banding" on some of the clouds but Paul Jarvis of Perth Pro Lab helped me to make a perfect print. I sorted that out using some Gaussian blur filters and the ORTON effect on the areas with banding.
If you like what we do and you want to photograph in Patagonia next year and learn from us, I am going with Ricardo Da Cunha and Paul Hoelen of The Light Collective, chasing glaciers and incredible mountain peaks.