Photographer's Note

I took this picture from a moving mini-van that was taking me from El Calafate and El Chalten. The light was low and the van was going fast on an unpaved road. I?ve open the aperture to the maximum and set the shutter speed to avoid blur on the picture. I?ve then pushed the button and here is the result after some corrections with Photoshop and NeatImage.
There?s only 250 kilometers (155 miles) between El Calafate and El Chalten but the journey took five hours, three quarters of the road is unpaved.
The landscape that we are travelling through is absolutely magnificent. One could think that the Patagonian steppe is boring, lifeless; view from a plane, it seems desert, without relief and monochromatic but as soon one set a foot on it everything changes. The closer one get to the Andes ranges, the ground starts to undulate, get scattered with enormous erratic rocks and moraines left there by the glaciers that extended themselves all the way to the Atlantic coast millions years ago. There are rivers in which flow streams charged with microscopic particle tear from the rock by the glaciers. Some suspended dust that gives this milky blue coloration to the water. The steppe is covered with yellowish grass call Coiron and is scattered with Calafate, dark green bushes covered with bright yellow flowers in springtime and with very sweet black berries in summer. Natives make delicious jam from those berries. The steppe also has a very rich wildlife and it is quite common to spot, by the road, some Guanacos (kind of Llama) and Ńandu or Lesser Rhea that looks like ostrich but are not from the same family of bird.
To my opinion, it is better to travel the road at the end of the day. The sight gets better as the day goes down; the sky is getting dark blue, the clouds ignite and Andes summit get covered by incandescent glowing red clouds (check the picture)

As I?ve explained above, I didn?t have the best conditions to take this picture. After process, the slide had an orange cast that was attenuating the dark blue from the sky, lots of noise and the clouds and mountain range edges were blur (I had to disable the auto focus that wasn?t working great through the van window). I have removed the noise and lightly sharpen the edge with NeatImage. I?ve adjusted colours and contrast with level (I?ve set the white point and black point manually), I?ve reduce the red saturation with Photoshop. I have selected the clouds layer over the Andes range to saturate the red to give back its incandescent glowing red clouds effect the clouds had when I took the picture. And then, I?ve sharpened the picture more with NeatImage.
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Additional Photos by Romain Donadio (green) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 235 W: 222 N: 121] (1014)
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