The Torres del Paine massif

This view is along Lake Toro looking towards the Torres del Paine massif in Chile’s national park of the same name. A massif is a large volcanic magma intrusion that hardens without ever breaking the surface. We see this one because eons later it was raised by tectonic forces and then exposed by erosion. In this case the final stages of that erosion were glaciers, which create the multiple sharp pinnacles in the middle section. The three main peaks are (from left to right) Paine Grande, Torres del Paine and Almirante Nieto. The surrounding landscape is sedimentary rock with many large glacier carved lakes. (5D3, 24-105 @ 70 mm, 1/200 s, f/13, iso 800, tripod and polarizer)


Beautiful color in the lake against a stunning backdrop of mountains. As my parents used to say, a majestic scene.

Mark, I love your image , but the story makes it alive. Just a bit of history gives the difference . Fine work .

What an image of a truly grand scale! For me mountains are the single most inspiring feature in landscape photography and water being the second. This is a beautiful marriage of the two, no nits and thank you for sharing!

A great story, Mark, and a spectacular vista. I would suggest two things that might be worth exploring. The first would be to try a 16:9 crop from the bottom. I think it would heighten the power, drama and dynamism generated between the sky and the peaks. I feel like the relationship between the peaks and sky is really the strongest aspect of this image and I find that so much foreground, despite it’s beauty, undermines that power. The other thing I’d try would be a black and white conversion. I don’t know if it would improve the image so much as create something more focused on the contrast, tone and line of the image rather than the colour.


A GRAND and beautiful landscape image. Grand, spectacular, awe-inspiring are all reactions one must have when standing there experiencing this.

And to that point of grandness, one of my first thoughts was wanting to see more. It’s like it feels like such grandness is compressed in to a small frame. Not quite sure how to describe it, but somehow feels to tight for such an expansive and impressive view. And I noticed you chose the 70mm mark on a wider zoom and so I’m wondering if you zoomed in a little to avoid an unwanted element on the bottom or sides? I don’t want to be overly critical on that point because this is such a grand and beautiful landscape. Love the color of the water and to me the colors, contrasts and processing in general are excellent.

And I can’t leave without acknowledging the light. The broken light on the hills and even the warm spotlight on the massif puts the finishing touches on this beauty.


Lon, the choices here are a study in constraints and vision. Because this was part of a group tour, I didn’t have time to find the “best” viewpoint and the time constraint kept me from setting up a multi shot pano. I also wanted to give equal emphasis to the color in the lake and the amazingly jagged peaks along with the rare bit of blue sky. I did shoot several panos later from other viewpoints. If you want to see those panos go to the Patagonia folder on my web site ( A 58 mm view from this location leaves the mountains a bit too small for my taste and brings in some shrubby trees along the bottom…

Mark, a gorgeous scene. To me, the color of the water pulls all the elements of the scene together; if the water was a much duller color then only the mountains would be center of focus…the water color pulls it all together for me. I don’t believe I’ve seen this perspective of the mountains before, usually just isolated peaks in photos; these mountains are massive! Well done, Mark.

Amazing place. Would darkening that foreground ridge improve things?

Some very interesting and beautiful mountain peaks, Mark. Like others I like the water color and the sunlight slope and of course that nice soft sunlit reflection off the last peak. The clouds are wild and almost get in the way of enjoying the peaks.

This is a stunning image Mark, the clouds and the aqua colors of the lake are just wonderful. You couldn’t ask for better condition than this given you were pressed for time on a group tour. My initial reaction was to consider a 16:9 crop to emphasize the clouds and mountains, but the more I look at it, the more I like including the amount of foreground that you have here. I think @Igor_Doncov may have a good point about burning the near foreground ridge.

Overall this is a great image, lots to appreciate here. :+1: :+1:

This is certainly one jaw dropping view, Mark. The Torres del Paine massif is impressive to say the least and those clouds only enhance the view IMO. To bad about the time constraints as I am sure you would have loved to spend more time in the area. While I think this image is lovely I did a crop and made this more of a pano; not necessarily better, but just an alternative. I will be sure to check out the others on your website.

I like the original framing because it shows the massive grandeur of the landscape. Just to give an idea: The grey granite wall of Torre Del Paine is 4,000 feet tall. It is truly huge.

I agree with Reno regarding the color of the water and how it ties everything together.

I think you did a great job here, and the processing looks very nice.

Fabulous scene, Mark. The colors are breathtaking. It’s well composed though I find the foreground a little distracting. I can imagine a tish off the top and bottom. Maybe a hair more off the top than here to get the top edge to be more unify. Quick crop in iPhoto below, but any way you look at it, this is a winner.

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