Top of the World

Well, not exactly. But it sure felt as if I was standing on top of the world.

After leading three of our workshop clients from Camp Poincenot to the base of Laguna de los Tres in Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, we had little time to spare in coming up with suitable compositions before the first light struck Fitz Roy and the other impressive spires of this mountain range. While we had experienced steady rain in the lower elevations of camp and the village of El Chalten, the steep trail to this location was covered in a foot of new snow and a thin coating of ice, making it even more treacherous than normal. The hike in the early morning darkness took nearly twice the allotted time, so we didn’t have the luxury of really working the scene before the sun rose. Thus, this was the best I could come up under the pressure of having to come up with something.

The three rocks in the foreground provided a balanced, symmetrical foreground. The exaggerated curvature of the wide-angle distortion added a feeling of really being on the very top of the world. The lakes below are Lago Sucia (left) and Laguna de los Tres (right) but the cold, stiff winds negated any chance of a composition with a reflection in either.

When the sun did come up, we experienced some of the most intense alpenglow on the peaks I had ever seen. It only lasted five minutes or so before clouds obscured the light and it was over. The hike back down to camp was even more of an adventure and we all experienced a few bumps and bruises along the icy trail. Before we returned to Poincenot, it was snowing once again.

Canon EOS 5D Mk2, Canon 16-35 f2.8II @ 16mm, 0.3 second @ f16, ISO 160


Posted in Images | Tagged , , ,


  1. Posted May 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm by gnohz | Permalink

    Beautiful light Richard!!
    From what I read and gathered from other sites, it seems to be quite rare for such clear weather, especially for a situation where the peaks are not obscured by low-lying clouds 🙂

  2. Posted May 24, 2012 at 3:31 am by Boyan | Permalink

    At least you had light unlike last year. I thought this year was supposed to be light on the hiking so as not to scare off clients? Guess not 🙂

  3. Posted May 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm by Antonio MĂ©rida | Permalink

    Color de fuego, maravillosa fotografĂ­a, enhorabuena. Un saludo.

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