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Deep in Patagonia



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Daily Grind
Photograph by Luc-Henri Fage

Commuting to the island off the desolate south coast of Chile known as Madre de Dios (Mother of God) by inflatable motor boat, expedition team members spent most nights in a fishing vessel anchored offshore. The threat of flash floods made sleeping in caves borderline suicidal, but a week spent camping in a forest on the island was a pleasure after the crowded fishing boat. Along this coast a thousand miles (1,600 kilometers) from Antarctica, only the hardiest trees take root, growing tall in areas sheltered from the wind.




Camera: Nikon F90 100mm
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50
Lens: 80-200mm zoom f/2.8
Speed and F-Stop: 1/120 @ f/5.6
Weather Conditions: Very sunny
Time of Day: Early morning
Lighting Techniques: Natural light, of course. And what light!

Special Equipment or Comments:
It was a very sunny day, early in the morning, and the two Zodiac inflatable rafts with the 70hp motors were leaving the Puerto Natales Primero, the big boat, to explore the Pacific coast of Madre de Dios Island. This kind of trip is very dangerous, because bad weather can arrive in half an hour, making the Pacific the worst sea I have ever seen. Big waves, reefs, currents... it’s difficult to stop even on a beach.

The two Zodiacs are going toward the pass at the close of the seào (fjord), and at the back, you can see the fantastic shape of Tarlton Island, a small mountainous island, 700 meters (2,300 feet) high, looking like an Alpine peak... but with the bottom in the sea! It was the first full sunny day of our trip, one of the three sunny days of the year over Madre de Dios, said to be the yearly average by the meteorologist.


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