“There is something about the expanse of Patagonia, a kind of haunting soulfulness, that affects you physically. Few places grab you like this and hold on so tightly and for so long.”
My experience with Patagonia began last November on the Argentina side of the Andes. It started in El Calafate in Los Glaciares National Park. These first images are of Perito Moreno, Upsala and Spegazzini Glaciers looming above us. The face of these glaciers soars to 300 ft above the water, and a staggering 500 ft below the surface in places. As you approach the glacier the chill of the blue ice is caught by the wind, dropping the temperature and making your eyes water. These glaciers are tremendous in size and scale, you can feel their age, although most of them are emblems of climate change, receding at a tremendous rate. I then traveled south 200 miles and crossed over the border to Chile and Torres del Paine in the heart of the Patagonia National Park of Chile. It is an unspoiled land, with sparse signs of man, few roads and fewer places of lodging. The Hotel Las Torres is an anchor on the famous “W” trekking trail of Patagonia. At the base of the Paine Masif, the famous Torres del Paine limestone towers rise up into the nearly ever-present clouds. The weather is as unpredictable as anywhere on the globe but the vistas were always breathtaking. The park feels untouched, a vast expanse of beauty that only attracts 115,000 visitors a year in its almost 1000 square miles. The majesty of this unspoiled land is unsurpassed and left me spell-bound at the beauty we were privileged to admire and absorb.Black & White seemed the only way to convey the untouched beauty of this magnificent land.
About Jim Riche
I went to Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City where I studied design in a 4 year program. I also attended the prestigious Art Students League in New York during my last 2 years of High School. I started at Rochester Institute of Technology as a Design student. After taking Photographic Design class with Bee Nettles I found myself drawn to what I could do with the camera and black and white film and switched my major to Photographic Illustration. I graduated in 1974 on the Dean’s list with a BFA in Photography as a Fine Art. Immediately upon graduation moved to Washington, DC and became a teaching assistant at the acclaimed Corcoran College of Art + Design working for the acclaimed photographic instructor Paul Kennedy. That led to a career in DC as a freelance commercial photographer. I was offered a job to be a Director of Photography on a clay animated feature film, from there it led to a career in the Animation and Visual effects business. Now I have left that business and returned to the photography I was trained for. My wife and I have a book called “Mod Mirage”, a history of mid-century architecture in Rancho Mirage that will be released by Gibbs Smith on Aug 7, 2018. I have recently finished a series of images from the Salton Sea, Rt 66 and the Mojave Desert. The sea is an amazing place that had such a rich history, but has been abandoned to be absorbed back into nature. The series features what man has left behind in the California desert. [Official Website]