[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Final Edit
January 2004

The image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Final Edit Editor
Assistant director of Layout & Design David Whitmore speaks plainly on the value of a pretty picture.

Cut It?
"This photograph would have made a good closing image," says assistant director of Layout & Design David Whitmore. "It captured the right mood, but we already had a couple of dramatic mountainscapes in the story."

Or Keep It?
Studying the image, David boiled it down to simple appreciation. "It's a beautiful photograph," he continues. "That's all it really comes down to. It could be a painting."

—Amanda Bowling

January Final Edit
Photograph by Peter Essick Send this image as a postcard

Where in the World?

A landscape painter couldn't have put together a more perfect composition: snow-streaked granite peaks, the moon hanging full and hazy beneath a cap of dark clouds washed with rose. Here in southern South America, where winds deliver ferocious storms and climbers can wait weeks for clear weather before attempting a summit, a moment like this occurs about as often as a blue moon. "The photograph sets a beautiful mood," illustrations editor Susan Welchman acknowledges, "but those mountains could be anywhere." Nothing identifies them as the Andes or places them in Patagonia.
On another night, in the foothills of the Andes, photographer Peter Essick shot spiky native araucaria trees outlined against the bright stars of the southern sky (NGM page 75). "That picture," says Susan, "has mood and uniqueness of location," making it a better choice for a perfect ender for the Patagonia story.

—A. R. Williams

Check out Patagonia, the feature story for which this photo was originally taken.
Final Edit Photographer Zoom In on more images by Peter Essick.

© 2004 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy       Advertising Opportunities       Masthead

National Geographic Magazine Home Contact Us Forums Shop Subscribe