A wild Chilean landscape in Photo Stories
Cristián Pomés Correa takes photos with surgical precision, and loves to hike around the Chilean landscape capturing its varied beauty
As a laparoscopic surgeon, I am a perfectionist in my work, and my choice of camera reflects this; that’s why I chose Nikon for my second big passion in life, photography. My work as a surgeon can be very involved and intense, so I try to get out into the Chilean landscape to reconnect with this beautiful country as often as I can.
One weekend my wife and I went away for a romantic weekend to San Pedro de Atacama. I only took my Nikon D300 and a single lens, the Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4. Normally I would take more lenses and a tripod, but this wasn’t really a photography trip. The Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4 is a versatile lens though – it can capture both wide landscapes and tight telephoto shots. I climbed a hill near Valle de la Luna, in the Atacama Desert, in anticipation of sunset. Despite the falling light levels I managed to capture a sharp hand-held image even at ISO200 . I loved how the sunset enriched the already reddened sand.
Two years after this trip with my wife I found myself 50km east of Santiago, in a mountain valley called Cajón del Maipo, 2000 metres above sea level. Towering over me were the Andes Mountains. It was a summer’s day with deep-blue skies and a hazy sheen on the horizon, but suddenly the sky filled with black clouds. A strong wind came from the mountains and I hurried to take some pictures. I threw up my tripod and tried a composition with diagonal leading lines My intention
Mission: To capture the varied landscapes of Chile in all their glory Photographer: Cristián Pomés Correa Age: 47
Location: Santiago de Chile Kit: D3S, D300, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5, 24-85mm f/2.8-4, 50mm f/1.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, 200-500mm f/5.6
Torres del Paine National Park is so isolated from civilization, and the landscape is pristine
was for the lines to take the eye deep into the mountains. No sooner had I taken a few frames than a very powerful summer storm came up, so I had to run. Thankfully the weather sealing of my D3S protected it from the torrential rain.
Towards the end of that year I decided to give myself an even bigger challenge. This time I travelled 2000km south from Santiago, to Torres del Paine National Park, in the extreme south of Chile’s Patagonia region. As soon as I got there I felt a strong feeling of isolation. It is so far away and so isolated from civilization, and, possibly because of this, the landscape is spectacular and pristine. To take this photo  I had trek for four hours through a beautiful forest, crossing small rivers and traversing cliffs, but it was worth all the effort.
I was concerned that the wind was so strong that it would move my tripod during the exposure, so I pushed my ISO up to 800, to give me a fast shutter speed of 1/400 sec at f/16. It’s a dramatic image of a dramatic place!