Skeletons of Patagonia – Geff Bourke – Guest Blogger

In April 2019, I travelled with Road Runner Photo Tours to Patagonia. We visited both the Argentinian and Chilean sides of this majestic area. It really is one of the most beautiful places I have ever photographed. The lush land, the towering mountains with there ever changing weather is quite something to behold. The mountains and the weather they make create scenes that are out of this world! One of my most anticipated visits, was to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile to see the skeleton trees. In 2005, a camp fire started by a backpacker destroyed 160 sq kms (40,000 acres) of the nature preserve in Torres del Paine National Park. Since that time, the lush vegetation in the area has come back to life with the exception of the trees that populate the region. They are a reminder of all the destruction uncontrolled fires can have on such a beautiful area. 

The trees (skeletons) are beautiful in their unique shapes and sizes. Each offers the photographer a unique view point (piece of art) from which to shoot. The trees can be photographed as whole forest lost to fire, individually, or only in parts. Their beauty lies in their twisted design and how they contrast with the lush vegetation and land around them. The trees are also a great subject for B&W photography. With B&W, the details in these trees and vegetation really pop with contrast, giving them an almost surreal look in the final image.

I went to Patagonia with the intention of capturing these magnificent trees in B&W only. Although, I shot a lot of landscapes in color, I didn’t feel rendering the trees in color did them justice.

Road Runner Photo Tours will be returning to Patagonia in April 2020. Join us on a beautiful photographic adventure and see these magnificent skeletons for yourself.


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