Make Beautiful Photos In The Amazing Tierra del Fuego

Bright summer sunshine illuminates a lovely forest detail in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.

At last, after hearing about it for years, I would finally get to photograph Tierra del Fuego National Park.

I was in Ushuaia, way down at the bottom of Argentina, the day before a tour I was co-running to Antarctica was due to begin. The group had met at our hotel the previous night and were out and about for a sunrise photography session the following morning. After breakfast we boarded a bus for the short journey to Tierra del Fuego National Park.

A gentle stream flows through Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.

Tierra del Fuego | Photographing At The Edge Of The World

Situated 3,079 km from the nations capital, Buenos Aires, and 17,848 km from Alaska (because you needed to know that) Tierra del Fuego is certainly a remote destination.. Parts of the park are wild, but this little outing took us to an area set up for tourists. There was even a quaint steam train which took us, via a scenic route, to the start of a short hike.

The engine of a lovely steam train in the Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.

Photography Opportunities On Organized Tours

I’m not one for the average organized tour. As a photographer I’m really a free agent and I like to follow my intuition and roam where my heart and the light takes me. However, over the years, I’ve done a few short half and one day tours as it’s the only way to access certain places and also as a way to understand how not to do things when I run my own specialized photography tours.

An engineer tinkering with his pride, a lovely steam train in the Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

On first impressions I didn’t find this small area of the national park to be all that interesting, but it did allow me time to walk off the malaise following a very long and not terribly pleasant flight from Melbourne, Australia. One wonderful surprise from the flight was that, rather than heading directly across the Pacific Ocean, our flight took us down over the edge of Antarctica. It was beautiful and a taste of things to come.

Gorgeous, glowing light seems to radiate from this forest in the Tierra del Fuego National Park in Southern Argentina.

Make Beautiful Photos By Adapting To The Light

The day was grey and the light bleak. However, on a couple of occasions the sun burst through the clouds and I was faced with extremely high contrast lighting conditions. My response was to move quickly into more shaded areas and attempt to use the light to accent areas within the scene.

A stark view south from Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina at the bottom of South America.

Creative Photography Begins By Blowing Out The Cobwebs

Frankly, the weather was bleak and the light uninspiring for most of my visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park. Nevertheless I got out and about and was able to walk my way into an improved mindset as well as getting my hand to eye coordination, after an extended time without making photos, back up to speed.

I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences. It’s not unusual to pick up your camera, after a break of weeks or months, and feel like you’re all thumbs. Don’t panic! It just takes a few minutes to remind yourself where all the important dials and buttons are and how to access important features within your camera’s menu. After that I strongly recommend going on a photowalk in your own neighborhood. It will help get you seeing again, as a photographer sees, and prompt you to think creatively.

What’s more this low key photo walk provides you with a final chance to check that your camera’s working well before you head off on your overseas photography adventure. And if it’s not working correctly there may still be time to do something about it, in a part of the world where you can.

A stand of trees in forested area on the shores of the sea in, Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.

Tierra del Fuego | When The Sun Shines

Finally, right at the end of my walk, the sun burst through the clouds. After looking for interesting subject matter in a small, wooden area by the sea, I was able to make several images where the light both illuminated and shaped the scene. At last I’d glimpsed some of the beauty in the amazing Tierra del Fuego National Park, at the bottom of South America.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru