Posts tagged “El Chalten

Your guides responsibilities…Los Glaciers National Park

Photographic guiding in Los Glaciers National Park 2017

In previous posts, I stipulated that workshops required a permit as well as a local guide. This would be the case if a group was being taught photography; essentially any teaching activity requires a permit, as long as you’re not teaching within the park you can guide a workshop providing you also have a local guide. Getting the park to define teaching isn’t easy, but in all honesty, I don’t think any workshops need to worry, as long as a workshop guide isn’t actually sitting clients down with pens, pencils, and notebooks there shouldn’t be a problem. Despite the insistence that no teaching takes place within the park there is, of course, no problem with teaching back in your hotel.

If a guide did intend teaching in the park there are a great many hoops. The guide would have to provide proof of insurance for each member of the party. This insurance would have to be one singular policy covering the group.
Proof of 3rd party insurance would also have to be provided for cover in case of accidental damage, an example being if a client caused a fire.
A permit to teach must be applied for at least 90 days in advance.

All workshops will be required to have a local guide; there are a number of companies in El Chalten. One of the better companies is Fitz Roy Expeditions:

www.fitzroyexpediciones.com.ar

It should be remembered that local guides are NOT PERMITTED to take clients off the trail.
I also spoke with Alejandro about the commercial use of images taken in the park. The Rangers have always insisted that photographic images taken within the park cannot be commercially used in any way. They’re now beginning to appreciate the difference between a big pro commercial photographer and a keen amateur potentially selling a few prints online.

Proposed park entrance fee *

Finally, the biggest change for visitors is a proposed introduction of a park entrance fee. This has been talked about for years, however, it’s now looking like it will be introduced, potentially as early as September of this year.
The park is looking for a non-governmental organization to take over collecting the fees. The fee is expected to be 150 pesos for a single day and 300 for a three-day period. At present, there’s no word of a longer permit.

Climbers are expected to be charged triple, with fees funding more rescue services. There is, however, no talk of rescue helicopters.
Finally, there’s no talk of creating a locking entrance gate, so photographers will have no problems accessing the park pre-sunrise providing they purchased their permits in advance.

* As of mid-2017 this the fee system has yet to be implemented.

 


The Dragons Den

The Dragons Den

The Dragons Den

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Unlike a true ice cave tunnel this is actually a stack of arches with narrow openings in the roof, these openings allowed light and snow to enter. I found it whilst scouting on the glacier below Cerro Torre in Los Glaciers National Park Argentina. At the time I had something else in mind so I gave it less attention than it probably deserved. I just propped my camera against a rock and set up a rough composition. I knew I was going to need something to show scale so I used a remote trigger to fire off a timed shot whilst I stood in the background.  It was only later that when I got to my computer that I realized I’d captured something quite nice. The gravel creates a pleasing leading line and the snow really works to bring out the dimples in the ice.

I struggled to think of a name for the shot so the title might sound a little bizarre, the Andiperla is an insect that lives on glaciers in Patagonia. It’s also known as a Patagonian Dragon.

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Cascada Veinticinco de Mayo Moon burst

Veinticinco de Mayo

Veinticinco de Mayo

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It requires an exceptionally heavy rainfall to capture this cascade at its best.  It rains surprisingly infrequently on the east side of the Andes, so whenever the river flow was high I’d head out and try to shoot here. Having found the cascade on the 25th of May, and because this date is a national holiday in Argentina, I decided to use this title.  In order to capture the moon burst with my Nikon 14-24mm lens, I had to shoot the moon burst at f18.  I fired off several frames as the moon set behind Loma de las Pizarras; later I’d be able to choose the best moon burst to blend into the image. Once the moon set, I quickly re-adjusted my aperture to f4 in order to shoot the foreground. One would imagine as the moon set behind the mountain the foreground would be very dark. However, there was still plenty of ambient light for the perfect exposure.

Here’s a few more:

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Branch Out

Birds Eye rrr

Branch Out

I photographed in Patagonia for much of 2015/16; from my cabin in the small town of El Chalten I was able to access deep into the heart of Los Glaciers National Park. Some days I would need a break from hiking, but I would always keep an eye on the sky, because if the clouds looked promising I would be able to run to this tree in under 20 minutes. In all my time photographing the park I only ever saw condors here on two occasions. I should point out that it was necessary to take two pictures to create this image. I used a wide angle lens to photograph the tree, in doing so the condor appeared tiny. It’s 9′ wingspan was miniaturized with the effect of using such a wide focal length. Therefore I pushed my processing boundaries and shot the bird separately with a longer focal length and later added it to the image.  This image does make a more accurate representation of the scene.


Cerro Torre

Beautiful Light

Winter sunrise on Cerro Torre can be mind blowing and because of the low angle of the sun it’s possible to shoot quite late into the morning. This shot was taken at 240mm focal length on a full frame camera. Here’s a few other from various times through the year:
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Fitz Roy

Fitz Roy

High winds produce some of the most dramatic skies in Patagonia.

One more from the same location:

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Arroyo del Salto

_ACW3869The most popular trek in Los Glaciers National Park is the hike to Laguna de los Tres, which leaves from the north of El Chalten. The trail splits after about 4km, the left fork branches off to Laguna Capri whilst the right fork makes a more direct track to Poincenot Camp, and the steep climb to the ever popular lake. Whilst the lake has much to offer the small stream flowing through the park offers multiple opportunities for photographers.  Typically it’s best to shoot from here at sunrise although in truth excellent photography is possible at all times of the day and night. A strong hiker can reach this river area in a little over an hour from town, therefore it’s quite possible depart from town in the dark and reach here for sunrise, or a pre dawn as seen in this image.

Here’s a few more:

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