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absolutely nothing at all

in Hasselblad XPan , Wednesday, November 27, 2013

And finally, Patagonia. El fin del mundo. The wide, but wide, open spaces of the Argentinian Patagonian pampas seem to be heaven sent to the panoramic photographer. Every direction has “designed for XPan” stamped in the corner. And yet as soon as you point a camera at it, it slides away, dissolves into nothingness.  It’s the pampas. There’s nothing there. Nothing to see, nothing to photograph, except that it just draws you back, teasing and insisting that you capture it.


I have several rolls from Patagonia where there isn’t one image worthy of the name out of the 21 precious Kodak Ektachrome frames. And yet at the time, totally immersed in the empty immensity of it all, I was convinced that every shot was a masterpiece.

But how do you photograph emptiness ? This one example, 80km from nowhere in all directions, maybe, more by luck than any skill, hints at something. The texture and direction of the grasses in the foreground mirrors the higher, darker clouds, and the sliver of lake in the distance gives some depth.

I just remember the wind, and the silence. Oh, and the cookies.

Posted in Hasselblad XPan | Photography on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 10:15 PM • PermalinkComments (2)


Bernard November 29, 2013 - 12:15
Well, I like this a lot, actually… I don't know if the photograph by itself is evocative, or if you have to know this kind of vast emptiness to appreciate it - anyway, it does work for me. A kind of unassuming beauty.


Project Hyakumeizan December 02, 2013 - 10:29
Agree with Bernard - the emptiness resonates through this image - I like the sweeping sky and the grass ... If you have one success out of 21 frames, isn't that a reasonable success ratio. Much higher than it would be with a digital 'spray and pray' technique, I guess...