Torres Del Paine, Chile by Eric Thiessen

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Picture Story

The alluring Cuernos spires revealing themselves in an epic 130km/h wind storm. After many months of planning my trip to Patagonia, I could hardly believe my eyes when the late afternoon light broke through the clouds and revealed the full, epic view of the horns. As the stormy weather intensified, I knew the conditions would be perfect for a shot within the dead tree forest.

Finding a shot within the trees proved more challenging than initially anticipated, as many of the dead trees were more of a distraction than a supplementary subject. My traveling partner and good friend Bryce Mironuck and I searched for about 45 minutes with no luck. However, after looking around from an area that we already scouted and almost giving up hope, I saw this twisted, gnarly tree about 150 meters away. My sightline was precisely what this composition is. Even that far away, I knew this shot would be utterly different from most dead tree shots I've seen from this location. From a closer perspective, the composition required tedious maneuvering of the camera to align the mountain within the natural frame created by the trees. My goal was to use the first section of branches to sweep the viewer into the frame, and then allow the arch of the distant branches to direct the attention to the Cuernos. Due to the branches' movement caused by incredible winds, only six out of the fifty images I captured aligned enough to create an accurate focus stack/exposure blend.


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