This is a close-up of Cerro Espada, one of several large granite spires within the heart of the Torres del Paine mountain range in Chile. This photo was taken on the hiking trail between Campamanto Italiano and Campamanto Britanico in March 2006. Cerro Espada is not normally the main subject of photos, but it does appear in the background of other photos of this mountain range. Trekking through the valley, I had this excellent view of Cerro Espada and took the opportunity to photograph something a bit more unique. One of my more memorable and enjoyable trips.
When I first took up photography as a hobby, it was important to me that photos be taken in full manual mode as I thought that doing so would teach me about exposures. I’m not entirely sure how successful that method was, but it sure did make me a slow photographer! I now shoot almost invariably in aperture-priority mode and am faster for it. A piece of nostalgia for me, here is a photo from my full manual mode days where I captured this image of a Gentoo penguin in the Antarctic.
I had an awesome time in 2006 travelling around in the heat of the Atacama Desert and the coldness of Patagonia. A visit to Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina), and the surrounding areas, brought home the remoteness and harshness of Patagonia. It was in Ushuaia that I became aware of ships heading to the Antarctic, and I’d made a mental note to someday visit the Antarctic. In 2007, I’d made that note a reality by embarking from Ushuaia to the Antarctic across the Drake Passage. But in the meantime, I was discovering delights such as that shown in this photo of Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse in the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia.
The annual Lake Turkana festivities see around a dozen tribes, mainly from northern Kenya, take part in cultural exchanges and traditional dances. It’s quite a fascinating couple of days and provides opportunities to see local tribes who are not normally on a safarist’s bucket list. For example, I found one local El Molo village to be just a few rudimentary huts loosely strewn together, surviving largely through fishing. A dwindling tribe, the El Molo may soon disappear through assimilation and intermarriage with other local tribes.
With the day’s festivities finished and with the onset of twilight, a few miles from the nearest village, the tribes of the Turkana and Samburu dance well into dusk on the windswept shores of Lake Turkana. Seeing the tribes enjoying each other’s company, it can sometimes be difficult to remember that cattle-stealing is causing much strife between the different tribes. But initiatives such as the Lake Turkana festival will help promote trust and understanding.
A cold night meant a cold start to the day in Namibia, even here right up against the Angolan border. Taking advantage of the cold before the heat arrived, I began exploring the rather small Himba village. Much there was to see with the inhabitants shaking off the night. A particular highlight was when I made eye contact with this boy wrapped in a blanket.