At Tom Bol Photo Workshops, we celebrate great images created on our workshops by selecting a Photo of the Month. For December we chose an image from our Patagonia Photo Workshop created by Greg Ness. Greg has photographed wildlife in Patagonia several times and was delighted with his condor encounter on this trip. We hope you enjoy Greg’s images as much as we do!
Congratulations to December 2022 ‘s featured photographer – Greg Ness
It was humorous. When we arrived on scene we looked like a cautious infantry unit. Everyone took 5 steps forward. Then everyone took 5 more steps. The condor was eye balling us the whole time. It must have been thinking, “What are they doing?”
I was using the Sony A1 because I was hoping for a flight shot. I figured if he did fly it would be a very quick shot. I got a couple of decent flight shots but they were kind of at an angle that did not show off his wings.
I loved the bird just sitting there. What an interesting face. You have to ask yourself, what is it about that bird? A face that could stop a truck. Why is it designed like that. I am sure bird experts have some interesting theories on that. I wanted to show the interesting features.
The light was just right. We had intermittent sunshine. It illuminated the grass right in front of the bird. This made for a nice counterpoint to the dark body of the bird.
I would like to know why it sat there as long as it did. It must have been eating something.
After I got home I did some research. The condor is the biggest flying bird in the world if you combine wingspan (up to 10 ft) and weight (up to 30 pounds). We saw them all over the place. With the Patagonian winds they barely have to flap their wings to take off.
Sony AI Sony 200-600 mm f5-6.3 lens at 600 mm
ISO 500 1/2000 sec f6.3
Aperture Priority Mode
Exposure compensation -.03
About Photographing in Patagonia
One of the things that intrigued me about Patagonia is its ties to our past. Anyone who lives in Colorado asks themselves, wouldn’t it be fun to transport yourself back to the Old West. Some one described Patagonia as being like the Old West – large plains, mountain ranges, dramatic weather.
It’s big and wild there. It’s also hard to get to a lot of the places. It keeps the majority of the tourists out. You have to work for photographs in Patagonia. Even if you get to the locations, you can spend days trying to get a picture of Fitzroy or El Chalten and never see it.
This means you have to have patience. The last day we were in Torres del Paine. The calm waters were incredible. How many people have seen that before?
Greg’s Tips for Photographing in Patagonia
Tip 1: I took two rented lenses. This was not a great idea. Know your lenses and know your camera equipment really well. If Marcos is sprinting across the pond on his horse, you may only get one shot of it.
Zoom lenses are really valuable to have. A condor is sitting on the ground, but it could fly at any minute. My suggestions are: 100-500mm and 70-200 and 24-70mm. Take two bodies: anything could happen.
Tip 2: The weather was like last time. It would almost knock you over one day and the next day, no wind. Shoot a lot on the good days. Consider black and white for the cloudy days.
Tip 3: I liked using black and white for the gaucho photos. It fits with the idea of a hard to get to place that is almost lost in time. It has not changed that much in the last 9 years. But it will slowly change.
On Greg’s Horizon:
Wanaka in New Zealand
Lofoten in Norway – want to return for hiking
Arizona for a month – both hiking and photography
Polar regions -Greenland, Iceland
Cruise to Northern Greenland
Madeira in Spain
Few spots left: Masking Made Easy: Online Editing Class. Brush up on your editing skills and learn how to use new masking features in either PhotoShop or Lightroom as well as older features like luminosity masks. Click here to learn more.
Few Spots Left: Old Car City Workshop from March 30-April 2, 2023. Photograph classic cars in the Georgia hardwoods. Learn about speed lights for creative effect. Click here to read more.
Where are Tom and Cree?
We are just back from a personal trip to Jackson, Wyoming. We photographed Great Gray Owls, Moose and Coyotes and had a splendid ski in front of the Tetons on New Years Day.
We hope you have a wonderful 2023 and find plenty of time to take photos. Thanks for reading our posts!
Tom and Cree