Beautiful Argentina and Patagonia

Daily Photo – My Russian Bedmate Is Actually a Nice Guy

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Some of you remember me mentioning Yuri, the Russian guy that ended up being my roommate and tentmate in Argentina. At night, I would practice taking photos of glaciers by setting up my tripod to take photos of his sleeping, huge, naked, white body that was full of cracks and made cleaving sounds. Practice makes perfect.

The first time I met him, he was in his underwear in the first 30 seconds after walking into my room. He didn’t speak any English, nor does one need to in that situation. My other Russian friend dropped him off with a wry smile. I heard him laughing some evil James-Bond-villian-Russian-laugh echo as he went down the hallway. And then Yuri and I were stuck together for the next few weeks. I don’t want to say he smelled bad about 20 KM into the hike, but people from Chernobyl won’t even go near him.

I’ve never had a panic attack in my life, and, in fact, I didn’t really believe in them. That is, until that one night in the low-slung tent with Yuri. We were way deep in Patagonia, about half a km from the first photo you see below. It was freezing cold outside, and the tent was so low that when you turned over, your shoulder rubbed against the top.  It was one of those special tents that mountain climbers use to minimize the whipping wind.  Yuri came to the tent rather late, after drinking yet another bottle of cognac he produced from yet another pocket. He was like a circus clown who could, at any time, produce a sizable bottle of cognac from any given opening. About two minutes after he passed out, the level of toxicity skyrocketed in that little tent. And then I had my first panic attack. I was zipped into this little two-man job with this two-man-sized guy. It was pitch black. I could barely breathe, but I knew that getting outside the tent would give me about 10 minutes of freedom before I froze to death. So, I stayed in the tent and tried to think of little cute kitties or some crap, which totally didn’t work. My mind went into a recursive death-loop where I was sure my re-circulated toxic air was getting me closer to death with each stilted breath. Oh man, I’ll never forget that night.

So, people have always wondered, “What does this Yuri look like?” Well, I’m finally showing my first photo of him… it’s at the bottom of my “Favorites from Argentina” photo set here.

High Dynamic Range Photo

High Dynamic Range Photo

High Dynamic Range Photo

High Dynamic Range Photo

High Dynamic Range Photo

High Dynamic Range Photo

High Dynamic Range Photo

High Dynamic Range Photo

High Dynamic Range Photo

High Dynamic Range Photo

High Dynamic Range Photo

And here is Yuri, sober (sort of). One morning we went on another hike down one of the rivers that was fed by a glacier system. We stopped to get some water on the way, and I grabbed a photo of him. I know I know… he’s just a big old Russian teddy bear, right?

High Dynamic Range Photo

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Natalia on the Farm

Daily Photo – Natalia on the Farm

After getting back from one of those long hikes in Patagonia, I stayed with my Russian friends at a small hotel in El Chalten. It was a little family-run operation and the daughter Natalia helped out by running errands and these sorts of things. I took her around with me to take some photos in the little town, and she was happy to pose! It was plenty easy to find all kinds of interesting backgrounds, since El Chalten is a picturesque little town with old buildings, horses in fields, and mountainous backdrops.

HDR Photo

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The Valley To Forever

HDR Workshop

Update:  SOLD OUT Registration opened this morning on the HDR Workshop page! Thanks, and I look forward to that upcoming weekend!

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Daily Photo – The Valley To Forever

The first part of one of my hikes in the Andes included a pretty serious jaunt up a mountain. This was jarring in many ways — mostly because I simply wasn’t expecting it. But, once I got to the top, and emerged to the other side, I was afforded this view.

My lackluster food rations and absolute lack of Internet was not really an issue with this sort of view. It was nice to be able to spend hours and hours hiking without having to worry about checking my email. Maybe this is partly why I like adventuring in remote places so much… I have really good excuses for being slow on emailing people back! When I am on the Internet, and people see me on Twitter all the time… they know I am there… they know they know… and ignored emails and tweets have no excuse!

The Valley to Forever

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My Nymph in the River

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Daily Photo – My Nymph in the River

Nestled deep inside this landscape is Irina. She is getting some fresh water for our camp. Irina took care of me night and day, making me all sorts of food, snacks, and drinks along the way. Over the entire trek, we went about 40km through the Andes, so I’m quite sure she helped keep me alive!

This beautiful location was near one of the many glacial rivers that flows out of the mountains. The air was cool and crisp, but not frigidly cold. You can see Irina has a little hoodie up to keep her nymph-ears warm. The air was just about perfect for the strenuous hike, because I ended up generating quite a bit of heat while carrying so much photography equipment.

HDR-Photo

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10 Amazing, Incredible, and Remarkable Adjectives

10 Amazing, Incredible, and Remarkable Adjectives

1. Amazing

2. Incredible

3. Remarkable

[Insert Annoying Ad here.]

4. Mind-Blowing

5.  Obamariffic

6.  Redonkulous

7.  Jaw Shattering

8.  H1n1ilicious

9.  Pants-Smelling

10.  Adjectival

Daily Photo – My Adventure Buddy in Argentina

I’m relatively picky when it comes to travel partners.  #1 rule:  Don’t annoy me.  Is that too much to ask?

So, I choose my travel partners with care… and I did not make any mistakes with my Russian friends in Argentina.  They were perfectly affable and enjoyable travel-buddies.  There when you needed them and gone when you didn’t…  it’s hard to explain, but maybe some of you know what I mean.

Below is Vulva, a wonderful guy with a gentle spirit.  He’s tall, somewhat severe-looking, and has a booming Russian voice, but he has a tiny Buddha inside of him… a really great guy.  One morning, we woke up and went out to shoot in fresh snow.  I grabbed this one of him in the woods before taking a little hike to the glacier below.

The Textures Tutorial video, which is always a popular thing, shows how I edited the second photo below… I recorded a screencast and talked through my steps in its creation.

HDR-Photo

HDR-Photo

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