Chiloé: a place of witches and gnomes
Islands are often special places, removed as much in their culture from the mainland as they are physically separate from it. Chiloé is no exception. This is a place of soft green hills, wild coasts and homely architecture. Famed for its wooden churches, sixteen of which are UNESCO listed, its people still more than half believe in the witches, ghost ships and forest gnomes that inhabit its mythologies.
El Tatio: a steaming landscape
It takes a certain amount of sacrifice and discomfort to visit El Tatio. For one thing, you will sacrifice sleep, as all tours leave very early in the morning. The steam from the geysers is most active and visible at dawn, so you need to be there before sunrise. You must also be prepared to be very cold and to cope with altitude; the geyser field is at 4,200 metres above sea level. So is it worth it? Oh yes!
Gallery: when the light is right
Studio photographers can spend a lot of time getting the light just right, changing the angles, adjusting the brightness and colour. Landscape photographers don’t have that luxury; we have to work with the light we have, or wait until it changes naturally.
Gallery: searching for street art in Santiago, Chile
If like me you enjoy a wander around an interesting neighbourhood just as much (if not more) as seeing the major sights of a city, Santiago’s Barrio Lastarria is likely to appeal. This is the perfect area to stroll through and enjoy for its ambiance and street life. And it's a great district in which to photograph street art.
To touch the sky: the Torres del Paine
As a lover of mountain scenery, I have long wished to visit the high Andes of Patagonia, and specifically the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. This is named for the three distinctive peaks at its heart, the Torres or Towers, but these are just a few of the majestic mountains contained within its boundaries. Add numerous lakes, glaciers and rivers, and this is a landscape to tug at the heart strings and demand attention.
Gallery: the flamingos of the Salar de Atacama
The only way to properly appreciate the vastness of Chile’s Salar de Atacama would be to fly over it; but a visit at ground level offers a spectacular sight of the varied colours of this unworldly landscape. Before you visit the Atacama you will no doubt read or be told that it is the driest non-polar desert in the world, with no significant rainfall for 400 years. It is surprising then to arrive at the Laguna Chaxa and see so much water!
Gallery: reflecting on birds
Maybe a desert isn’t the obvious place to look for bird reflections, or indeed reflections of any kind. Deserts are dry, no? And the Atacama Desert in Chile is especially so. In fact, it’s the driest non-polar desert in the world, and has had no significant rainfall for 400 years. And yet, the shallow waters of its barren salt flats offer picture-perfect reflections of feeding flamingos.
The Birdmen of Rapa Nui
After the deforestation of Rapa Nui, and the destruction of the moai, probably as a result in part at least of war between the tribes, the people needed to believe in something; if their ancestors could no longer protect them, who would? The answer was, one of their own.
Glacier Grey – or should that be turquoise?
Battling across the dark grey stony beach, hardly able to stay upright in the wind, which was whipping grit into my eyes and cheeks, I wondered if it would all be worth it. But one look at the turquoise blue icebergs floating on the water to my left reassured me that it would be. And it was.
Around the world in ten photos: day two
The landscape here is a series of horizontal stripes in blue, green, beige and brown. It creates a calm backdrop for the flamingos as they feed, their pale pink feathers reflected in the still pools of water.