That was what was in my mind when I set out in February 2023 to create a series of portraits – and yes, I do think of them as portraits, not photographs – in two locations in the far southwest of Patagonia in Argentina: in the Parque Nacional Los Glacieros and at Lago San Martin.
My intent was to explore and capture the raw beauty of the wide-open desert pasture, the luminosity of the glacial lakes and the drama of the mountains that I had glimpsed on a previous visit ten years ago.
And while the beauty of the landscape was breathtaking, what was equally striking was the harshness of the terrain, in contrast and strange harmony with the almost surreal and otherworldly beauty of the shapes and contours of the mountains, rivers and lakes.
The landscape is, of course, dominated by the drama of the Andes rising perpendicularly out of the arid desert that stretched almost forever to the east – and the vast luminous turquoise of the glacial lakes, adjacent to and in stark contrast with the brown, yellow, green, and deep blues of the desert and mountains.
But it was the wind that blew ferociously and constantly at 40 mph that dominated the experience. It is no wonder that this magical but inhospitable land is almost uninhabited by humanity – and left to live and breathe mostly undisturbed.
Like my portrait work, my focus in this series was on emotion: on capturing the essential and pure elements that resonate from this extraordinary and complex place on Earth.