Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

At more than a million square kilometers, Patagonia is vast. It straddles Argentina and Chile, and traveling from one part of the region to the other is time-consuming and only possible at certain times of the year. I planned my trip to fall in the warmer months, when the weather would be more agreeable and the roads — hopefully — would be safe for driving.

Panorama of Pehoe Lake and Cuernos Peaks in the Morning, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Panorama from 2 horizontal shots, additional exposures for highlights, focal length 24 mm, aperture f/11, shutter speed 1/8, ISO 64, tripod.

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As charmed as I was by what I’d seen of Patagonia in Argentina, I eventually had to make my way across the border into Chile to Torres del Paine National Park. Torres del Paine is undoubtedly one of the world’s most beautiful places, and certainly one of Patagonia’s most famous. Search for images of Patagonia, and chances are, you’ll find photos of this remarkable landscape.

I began my exploration of the park at Pehoe Lake, a turquoise blue expanse of water known for its famously changing moods. At times the lake is placid, its surface as smooth and still as glass; at others, it become terrifying and furious, with almost sea-like waves. Locals told me to expect the latter. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

On my first morning at the lake, I awoke early, hoping to catch some of the delicate frost I’d seen in Argentina. Pehoe Lake, as it happened, was in a tranquil mood. The water was still, with hardly a ripple on its surface, and the surrounding trees and grass were threaded with silvery frost, exquisite as lace. As I watched, low-hanging silver clouds drifted in, hovering over the Cuernos peaks like a veil.

Pehoe Lake is beautiful and would be stunning in any conditions, I’m certain. But I can’t help but feel that I was fortunate enough to capture the lake at a uniquely beautiful moment.

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