There are very few places in the world that rival the untouched beauty of Patagonia. Its mountain peaks appear as if they were created by the hands of a meticulous sculptor, while its turquoise lakes are something straight out of a fairytale.
Patagonia is a sparsely populated area located in the southern portion of Chile and Argentina. Its Iconic Andean peaks and massive glaciers make for an incredible backdrop in a vast and largely untouched landscape. In Short, Patagonia is a photographer’s paradise!
We’ll spend our time in Patagonia photographing some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. Our photographic efforts will be concentrated around the Perito Moreno Glacier, Mount Fitz Roy, and Torres Del Paine National Park.
The workshop will begin in El Calafate Argentina on April 5th and conclude on April 16th in Punta Arenas Chile.
We will photograph sunrise and sunset each full day of the workshop when weather permits. The middle of our days will be reserved for rest, travel, and post processing. I recommend bringing a laptop so you can work on your images during the workshop.
Many locations in Patagonia are easily accessible while others require a decent bit of hiking. This workshop has two optional uphill hikes that are on the longer side. Please read over the hiking section for more details.
A private car or taxi will be available for anyone who does not want to partake in either one of the long hikes in El Chalten. The vehicle will pick you up for sunrise and take you to an iconic view of Mt. Fitz Roy. (See images below) After sunrise, you’ll be transported back to the hotel.
Note: All shoots are weather dependent. Under severe or unsafe conditions we may not be able to do one or more of the planned activities for any given day.
Get ready to stay at some of the nicest and most unique hotels in Patagonia! There will be no roughing it on this trip. I have personally picked the best places to lay our heads while we catch up on our well deserved rest. We’ll start our trip off in the charming town El Calafate at Posada Los Alamos Hotel. Moving on, we’ll check into the grand Destino Sur Hotel & Spa located on the main drag of El Chalten. This fantastic wood and stone building is walking distance to many restaurants and a few different trailheads. In Torres Del Paine we’ll be staying at one of the most picture perfect lodges in the world! Hosteria Pehoe sits on a tiny island in Lake Pehoé which is accessed by a short footbridge. Located in the heart of Torres Del Paine, Los Cuernos Del Paine can practically be photographed from your doorstep! There is no question that Hosteria Pehoe is the best place to stay in the park. Our last night of the workshop will be spent at Cabo De Hornos Hotel in Punta Arenas.
• Quality lodging for the duration of the workshop
• Van transportation
• Professional photography guide
• Local guides in Los Glaciers National Park
• Glacier Trek (weather permitting)
• Post processing session
• Glacier Grey Cruise (weather permitting)
• Airfare & airport transportation
• Visa Fees
• Travel Insurance
• Photography Equipment
Below is a sample itinerary for our time in Patagonia. Please keep in mind that weather can alter the schedule.
Day 1: Orientation at the Posada Los Alamos Hotel El Calafate Argentina.
Day 2: We’ll spend most of the day exploring the Perito Moreno Glacier in the southern portion of Los Glaciers National Park.
Day 3-7: On the third day of the workshop, We’ll depart El Calafate and head to Destino Sur Hotel & Spa in El Chalten. We’ll spend the four days photographing the famous peaks of Mount Fitz Roy. There will be two long (weather dependent) sunrise hikes in El Calafate. If If you are not much of a hiker, you can use that time to catch up on your your rest and go to the spa!
Day 7-10: We’ll shoot an easy sunrise location on our last day in El Chalten. From there, we’ll cross over to Chile where we will spend the rest of our time photographing the majestic Torres Del Paine National Park. There we’ll be staying at the historic Hosteria Pehoe lodge with fantastic views right from the property! In Torres Del Paine we will photograph, blue glacial lakes, guanacos, and some of the world most famous mountain peaks.
Day 11: We’ll shoot one last sunrise near our lodge before heading to the Cabo De Hornos Hotel in Punta Arenas where we will spend one night to wind down from our adventure.
Day 12: Depart Punta Arenas, Chile.
Single Room Supplement + $1,305
The cost of this workshop includes only that which is covered in the the “What’s included” section of this page. A down payment of $2,000 dollars is required to reserve your spot on the workshop. Full payment is required no later than ninety days before the workshop starts. “Cancel for any reason” trip insurance is strongly encouraged.
Sometimes life can get in the way of a good a thing. Hopefully that doesn’t happen during this workshop, but if it does the following cancelation policy applies.
• Cancel Before December 30th 2021 – Full Refund
• Cancel After December 30th 2021 – no refund unless your spot is filled or the workshop gets canceled.
Should you have to cancel after the cancelation deadline and I can find a replacement for your space, I’ll refund your full payment minus a $200 cancelation fee.
I strongly encourage “cancel for any reason” travel insurance. Check out Square Mouth for more details on trip insurance.
Patagonia’s weather can change quickly and can be very hard to predict. The autumn months (March / April) tend to be the driest but rain can be frequent at any time of year. It is very important to be prepared just about any kind of weather. When the sun is shining, the daytime temperatures can be quite pleasant but when storms come in, the temperatures can drop and snow can fall just about anytime of year.
All participants must be prepared for winter condition and bring waterproof hiking boots as well as rain pants and a rain jacket that will fit over layers. Staying dry will keep you warm and happy. It’s no fun shooting when you’re uncomfortable. The wind can be downright relentless in Patagonia, but luckily for us, fall is the calmest time of year. That being said, wind can show up at any time so make sure you have good windproof clothing. If weather conditions become too extreme at any point, we will focus our efforts on post processing during those times.
Many of the locations that we visit in Patagonia are rather easily accessible but a few locations require some extra legwork to get to. You will be briefed each night so you know what to expect the following day. No hike or shoot is required and you’re more than welcome to sit out any portion of the workshop that you do not feel comfortable doing. The trails are maintained fairly well in Patagonia but they can often be muddy if it has recently rained. Please see the hike descriptions below.
On the first full day of the workshop we will be doing a short and rather easy trek on the Perito Moreno Glacier. This hike will be conducted under the supervision of local professional guides who will provide our group with crampons for a safe and enjoyable hike. The trek is about a half mile on land before we hit the ice. Once we are on the ice we will slowly walk over a portion of the glacier. We’ll be on the ice for about an hour and a half and then hike the dirt trail back from which we came.
Hiking in El Chalten is extremely rewarding when the condition are good. When conditions are bad it is essentially pointless if not downright miserable. I will take the group on two decent size hikes in the El Chalten region. If the weather does not cooperate one or both of the hikes could get canceled and replaced with an easier option or post processing.
El Chalten is a quaint little town settled near the base of Mt Fitz Roy. There are some great photographic opportunities just outside of town that are easily accessible. We’ll spend at least two of our four mornings in that area shooting those spots. The other two mornings we will get up very early in order to make it to our sunrise locations on time.
The first hike in El Chalten is Laguna Torre which is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. That is why we will be trekking six miles to get there for sunrise. The first mile of the trail has a moderate to strenuous incline but then the trail becomes mostly gradual over rest of the hike. The overall elevation gain is 969ft. Once we arrive at the lake you’ll be happy that you made the effort!
Our final hike in El Chalten will be to a fantastic view of Mount Fitz Roy. The hike gains a steady 800 ft in the first mile before leveling off a little bit for the rest of the way. After hiking four miles we well set up for our sunrise shoot of Fitz Roy. We’ll take plenty of time to shoot the area before heading back down to town for a much deserved break.
Most of the shooting in Torres Del Paine is very accessible with most of the locations just a short distance from the road. We will do a few relatively flat hikes that are around a mile or two in length. The only moderately difficult hike that we will be doing in Torres Del Paine is a 600 foot climb in three quarters of a mile.
Please read over the essential gear list carefully. If there is something on the list that you are unsure about, feel free to reach out to me at ant point.
By attending this workshop, you agree to hold Mike Wardynski of Wardynski Photography and its employees and owners harmless for all personal injury or loss that may occur during or in connection with this trip. You are responsible for your own safety and well being throughout the course of the workshop. It is important not to push yourself beyond your physical abilities. You are in charge of deciding if a location is safe for you to travel to. Mike Wardynski of Wardynski Photography makes no effort to vet the other attendees of the trip and you need to make sure you are safe in their companionship.
Travel insurance as well as insurance for your photo gear are both highly recommended. It is in your best interests to fully insure your equipment for full replacement value under a personal articles policy.
In the event of extraordinary events, governmental instability, extreme weather, or other unforeseen condition, Mike Wardynski of Nature Mike Photography reserves the right to cancel this trip and return all workshop fees to participants.
I highly recommend doing workshops with Mike. I’ve done half a dozen with him over the past few years and it’s always a highlight of my year. Mike’s a funny, easy going, nature loving guy who is a joy to be around because he truly cares for and enjoys people. He will have you experiencing wonderfully beautiful locations while growing your skills as a photographer, and having fun while doing it. I walk away from each workshop feeling refreshed to go back into work, and with a killer shot I can’t wait to share.
The small group sizes are great because it enables Mike to pay close attention to everyone, being attentive when you need it and also knowing when to give you space for learning and creativity. I think one of the biggest selling points of Mike’s workshops is the deep research and trip planning he does before starting a new workshop. I’ve seen the benefits of this in the unique locations Mike takes us to, the interesting knowledge he shares that leaves me feeling more connected to an experience, and the on-the-fly flexibility Mike pulls from as mother nature disagrees with our itinerary. I’ve seen weather make him need to pivot our plans from A to B to C, and we’ve still come out having a good shoot. A few days on a photo trip planned by Mike leaves me with more high quality shoots than the sum of all my personally planned trips in a year. Mike makes it so you can simply show up and focus 100% on photography. Don’t hesitate to book a workshop with him, you won’t regret it!"
"Mike is an exceptional teacher and a great guide! As a total beginner, I learned more from him in just 20 minutes than I had on a prior 2 week long photo trip. His passion for photography and nature is contagious and makes every shoot exciting and fun. He's super attentive, patient and a great hands-on instructor; helping set up the composition, talking you through and explaining what settings to use and why in every situation. His scheduling and shoots are well thought out and he's great at finding the best spots to help you get a great shot. No matter your level, I'd 100% recommend traveling with Mike--he's just the best!"
"I’ve been on numerous photo tours and workshops and have found Mike to be one of the best guides! He has fantastic teaching skills and patience for beginner through advanced photographers. This workshop showcased his careful scouting and planning for our awesome week in Kauai; including hiking and site access tips, specific location and timing of each shoot along with access knowledge. His upbeat attitude and sense of humor always makes the workshops enjoyable and productive!"
"Mike is a brilliant photographer and the best teacher I’ve ever worked with. He’s extremely knowledgeable, patient, and has a unique ability to meet his student’s needs at their individual experience levels. He’s fun to work with because he’s alway enthusiastic, positive, and he truly loves what he’s doing. He comes prepared with contingencies and alternative locations in mind to respond to unpredictable weather conditions and light. I especially appreciate his resourcefulness."
"Mike is an exceptionally talented artist and photographer, yet he remains humble. It’s a pleasure exploring locations and creative interpretations of the subject at hand with him. He has zero ego and the focus is always on helping the workshop participants express their own vision with his extensive technical expertise and generous guidance. I have worked with him many times and I always learn something new. He’s a natural leader and teacher as well as being an accomplished artist. This combination is rare in my experience. I feel lucky to have found him to help me improve my own photographic vision."