Postcards From Chile

Alpha Whiskey Photography

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Felt like a holiday and was intending to take another drive around Iceland this autumn but I changed my mind and my finger stopped the spinning globe at Chile. Also, a companion wanted to join me and she didn’t fancy sleeping in a car for a week ;)

So this was a pleasure vacation and these images should be viewed in that context. I didn’t go just to take photos; I just happened to have my camera on me. Anyone hoping for long exposures at sunrise should stop reading and visit another post. We wanted to have a great time and enjoy the experience of this country and we fulfilled those criteria completely.

Chile is a vast and spectacular country, with the Atacama Desert and the Salt Flats to the north and the mountains and glaciers of Patagonia to the south. All braced by the long arm of the Andes mountain range. With private guides for just the two of us we managed to cram in quite a bit with no less than four internal flights taking us up and down the country from the mid point of the capital city, Santiago.

One particular ambition of mine was to see the flamingoes in the Salt Flats. But I also indulged myself with a swim in a hot spring at 4200m up in the Andes. We visited beautiful lagoons, salt mines and rock formations, and were treated the whole time to a wealth of information about the landscape and its remarkable geology. At one point our vehicle, with the ignition off and geared in neutral, was pulled uphill by magnetic minerals in the ground.

Patagonia was a little cooler but not too cold in their late spring. The scenery was reminiscent of Norway with ice-capped mountains looming over sapphire blue lakes and windy fjords. Wildlife was in abundance too with no shortage of guanacos, hawks, vultures, rias and cormorants.

One disappointment, given that Chile has the clearest skies in the world, was not getting a night sky shot of the Milky Way. Rather unluckily during our visit the Moon polluted the sky with too much light.

We also didn’t go to Easter island because, well, it didn’t appeal to us and we didn’t have the time anyway.

Not much respite for a holiday, it was exhilarating, intense and passionate. I happened to have a camera on me but yes, these images could have been taken with my phone (someone already beat you to that remark). Happily, much like Iceland and Norway, it’s such a beautiful place that it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo (unless you test gear for Olympus, in which case you’re obliged to do so ;)).

Anyway, hope the images give you a sense of how stunning this country is.

Santiago


One of thousands of wall artworks in Valparaiso, on the Pacific coast.


The Andes from the sky.


A salt cave in the Atacama Desert.







Moon Valley at sunset.


Llamas. Naturally.


Flamingoes



Hot springs up in the Andes.

Alpha Whiskey has a soak in one of the geysers. The water was 30C while the air temperature was about -8C.




Patagonia.


Torres Del Paine.


A guanaco surveys the scenery.


A retreating glacier.


An advancing glacier.



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This series reminds me of reading Nat Geo as a teenager. :bravo-009:

So were you testing gear for Olympus?

Regarding light pollution from the moon - I've actually found that some moon in very dark skies can actually be a good thing to provide the landscape with some illumination. If there's no moon at all, the landscape ends up being pitch black compared to the Milky Way. If I drive just 30 minutes out of Christchurch where I live, it gets dark enough that without the moon, you can't get anything in the landscape exposed, and it's all just a silhouette against the stars.
 
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Alpha Whiskey Photography

Mu-43 Top Veteran
This series reminds me of reading Nat Geo as a teenager. :bravo-009:

So were you testing gear for Olympus?
No, I wasn't testing anything for anyone, lol. This was a vacation as described above.
I wouldn't test for Olympus even if they paid me. Unless you're implying that the photos are that bad! :laugh1:

Many thanks :)
 
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