This is the first blog in this series.
The contents of this blog are Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills
This is the first blog in this series.
The contents of this blog are Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills
amazing resolution with the Canon 24 mm lens
The resolution of the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM makes this lens a favorite of mine for landscape work. Let me show you why.
In the previous post of this series you learned about a wonderfully shaped tree, a branch really, of Tempanos fjord.
The valley today’s posting lies behind the tree. It is a broad valley shaped by ancient glaciers.
Here is the Google Earth view, from an elevation of 9,400 feet, with the ship position marked. Northwest is a pushpin titled, “Hanging Valley and Waterfall.”
The waterfall marking the hanging valley is visible in the following photograph. All photographs in this posting are from a Canon EOS-1Ds MarkIII, 24 mm lens (see above for complete name), on a Manfrotto travel tripod. ISO 500, f5.6 or f6.3.
With a point of view about 50 feet above the water the valley bottom is hidden behind an 800 foot hill and the water fall is just above the hill. See it? …..I didn’t think so.
There is the island with the tree, to the left. The following image is the same photograph, with the central section enlarged.
The enlargement brings out the play of light, the low clouds, deep in the valley. To provide scale, know those are full sized pines on the hillside, foreground. The waterfall is just about visible. I will enlarge the image one more time.
There it is!! I stepped up contrast, as well.
Here is another version of the original view. That patch of sky had opened up seconds after the first shot and, as a result, the 3,000 door mountain and waterfalls, on right, are better lit. Notice the bare rock face on the mountain slope, marking a landslide.
Click this image for a high resolution version, in your browser.
A different landslide Scar is featured in two previous blogs,
The Regatta’s course brought us closer for the two following shots.
The lovely sky is still visible…..
….one minute later the clouds gather and relative darkness returns.
Compelling Plant Shapes
Here is a Google Earth view of Tempanos Fjord from 9,400 feet, looking north, northwest over a point on the fjord 6.5 miles from Iceberg Glacier, at 4 pm local time on February 17, 2016. This view is interesting for the insignificant island, .75 mile long, and broad mountain valley to the north fringed with waterfalls.
Marked is the location of a tree, “bonsai”, a feature of the fjord cliffs, “Landslide Scar” and a neighboring Fjord, “Farquhar Fjord.”
This blog features the tree.
The Landslide Scar is featured in two previous blogs,
You may view a headland forming the southern wall of Farquhar Fjord in my blog
The Farquhar Fjord entrance opens onto the entrance of Tempanos Fjord and is the last photograph.
A photograph from our port side stateroom deck includes both the island and broad valley. The misshapen tree, the “bonsai”, is on an islet to the right and in front of the island. It is the small stump backlit by water reflection. The stump is more interesting than can be seen in this image from a handheld camera, at 24 mm. I used the variable lens for a closer look.
From this 133 mm, f8.0, 1/250 sec and ISO 800, still handheld, interesting details come into view. The islet is a rock on which clings a bed of moss. Several ferns, a sapling (on the far side) and a stump, on the right, are surviving. The stump presumably supported a small tree of which a “bonsai-like” twig remains.
Bonsai are fascinating, created through the art and skill of emulating pleasing natural forms. Here the moss encrusted twists and miniature tree crown were formed from a difficult environment. Bonsai of Japan originated from an ancient Chinese tradition of penjing (“tray plant”). The inspiration for this are, at origin and now, must be, in part, from admiration of the tenacity and beauty of these plants.
At the 200 mm maximum my Sony Alpha 770 (1/400, f9, ISO 800) image is a little fuzzy, still with great details.
From my interest in bonsai I am on the lookout for shapes such as this. Travelling the challenging environment of the Chilean Fjords I found examples here and there.
A mountain and waterfall ringed bowl.
(Click any photograph to visit my online gallery)
4:00 pm local time the Oceania was approximately 5 miles from the Iceberg Glacier, moving forward at a slow rate of speed, 4.6 knots. Here are more views of the mountain-ringed bowl behind a 1,000 foot cliff, the formation featured in my blog A Far Country IV: Tempanos Fjord.
Both photographs are handheld using my Sony Alpha700, ISO 800, variable lens set to 45mm, 1/250 f13. At the same time I shot from a tripod mounted Cannon, 24 mm wide angle fixed focus lens.
The following capture from Google Earth is the view from 12,200 feet. Regatta’s position is the “5 miles from Iceberg Glacier” pushpin. The formation is almost due north. We were surprised to see a ranger station in this uninhabited area, not yet in view. The white line, lower right, is the border between the Aisen (north) and Magellanic (south) Chilean regions.
By 3:20 pm local time the Oceania was approximately 1.75 miles from the Iceberg Glacier and the captain positioned the ship for a starboard side glacier view. From our port side stateroom terrace Pam and I had this sweeping view of the way we had come.
Tempanos Fjord is a mile across here and we have a clear view of the landslide scar feature in my last blog. It is 7.75 miles distant, a small white patch on the fjord wall. The landscape scar marks where the fjord bends, changing north, northeast course to an east, southeast direction. Before the bend, the Iceberg glacier is not visible. Turn the bend and the glacier is plainly visible in the distance if the viewer is looking over the ship bow.
The following capture from Google Earth is the view from 14,000 feet. Marked are the locations of the landslide scar and the ship position were I first photographed the scar on our way into Tempanos Fjord. The red line ship’s course may be followed out of the fjord back to the Messier Channel. The fjord follows a course among mountain peaks and deep valleys. My blog A Far Country IV: Tempanos Fjord features a view of one of those valleys. A great pleasure of sailing Tempanos Fjord is the many vistas opening one to another.
All is Larger than it First Appears
By 2:45 pm local time the Oceania was almost 4 miles into Tempanos Fjord, 10.5 miles from the Iceberg Glacier, when this telling gash on a mountain buttress forming the side of one of many glacial valleys.
Here is the Google Earth overview of our course that day through Tempanos Fjord, as the red line. Visible is the Farquhar Fjord, to the north. Marked is the position of the scar and the approximate position where I took the first view. Where the fjord bends to the southeast the glacier is not yet visible.
The scar, for all the rawness of the stone, is not recent. There was time for a forest to cover the destruction. The Oceania steamed past, making steady progress. The gash appeared ahead, unremarked. I wonder what the effect was after the cracks, slowly widened over decades by the ice, forced friction to give way to gravity, the mountainside sliding, perhaps, into the fjord. Hard to tell. There is no remnants of the slide visible.
All is larger than it first appears. Those are full size pines below the scar. It is the steepness of the cliff face that holds off the vegetation, the whiteness of the rock the source of the apparent freshness of the gash.
The mountainsides are threaded with waterfalls. Look closely to the left of the gash for a very thin line ending in a spray.
The environment around Iceberg Glacier….
This is a view of the fjord countryside from the Oceania Regatta position about 4.75 miles from Iceberg Glacier . As the Regatta proceeded at the slow rate of 4.6 knots, I captured this high valley and waterfall from the position marked with the central pushpin in the following GoogleEarth image from 14,000 feet altitude.
Learn more about the “Landslide Scar”, to the left, from this blog: A Far Country V: Landslides!!!.
The following photograph is the view North. The far waterfalls are fed by two mountain top lakes, waters that feed into Tempanos Fjord. We are in the Chilean Aisen (also spelled Aysen) Region (XI) looking into a valley between Tempanos, Farquhar and Bernardo fjords. This island and valley has NO name, as far as I can tell. The region is uninhabited, part of the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park.
This was taken with a handheld Sony DSLR-A700, the variable lens at 200mm, 1/800 sec at f/13.
Why is the glacier face blue?
A glacier is more than ice; not alive, it crawls; not feeling, it groans, cackles, shouts; passive, it is dangerous to approach closely backed as it is by the southern ice field, over a mile high. The ship nudged as close as a half mile from the massed ice, navigating using the bow thrusters to face first port, then starboard and back to port. I was lucky enough to be on the 11th deck, pictured above, when we caught sigh of the fast ship’s launch, manned by ship’s crew.
The crew prepared for a run to the rock face, almost 100 feet high, beneath 500 feet of glacier. Enjoy the views! Click any photograph to visit my online gallery. Purchase a photograph from this newly published series or any of my other popular works.
The ship turned and the glacier, 500+ feet high, 0.7 mile wide, came into view on port.
At 5:09 PM (daylight savings time for Chile) the Regatta turned to starboard to navigate around a headland of Farquhar Island. Iceberg Glacier came into view from our port side stateroom terrace. I was set up with the Canon 300 mm variable lens set to 120 mm (1/500 second, F11, ISO500), tripod mounted, to capture the ice from 5 miles distance. The location is marked on the above GoogleEarth view. The red line leading in is our course. On the right, the white line is the boundary between Chilean regions Aisen and Magellan.
Visible is the .75 glacier front, 500+ feet above the head of Tempanos Fjord. On the GoogleEarth view the front is marked with a red line. Yes, more than 500 feet above the water. In mid-view there are two rocks in the water. Behind them, under the glacier, is a rock face. That rock is 100+ feet tall.
Twenty seven (27) minutes later I used a handheld Sony with variable lens set to 200 mm (1/500 second, F13, ISO800) to capture this image of the ship bridge superimposed on the glacier.
All you see is part of the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. Named for a founding father of Chile, the country’s first head of state, the park covers 13,614 square miles.
All contents of this blog are Copyright 2016 Michael Stephen Wills
Maps of our visit to Iceberg Glacier beginning from Cape Rapier, the Pacific Ocean
Here are a series of maps to aid your understanding of this series of blogs, starting with sunrise off Cape Rapier and ending with my next blog, the approach to Tempanos Fjord and the Iceberg Glacier.
The contents of this blog are Copyright 2016 Michael Stephen Wills