National Geographic : 2004 Jan
ONE THAT ALMOST GOT AWAY Final Edit PATAGONIA Where inthe World? A landscape painter couldn't have put together a more perfect composition: snow-streaked granite peaks, the moon hanging full and hazy beneath a cap of dark clouds washed with rose. Here in south ern South America, where winds deliver ferocious storms and climbers can wait weeks for clear weather before attempting a summit, a moment like this occurs about as often as a blue moon. "The photo graph sets a beautiful mood," illustrations editor Susan Welchman acknowledges, "but those moun tains could be anywhere." Nothing identifies them as the Andes or places them in Patagonia. On another night, in the foothills of the Andes, photographer Peter Essick shot spiky native arau caria trees outlined against the bright stars of the southern sky (page 75). "That picture," says Susan, "has mood and uniqueness of location," making it a better choice for a perfect ender for the Pata gonia story. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * JANUARY 2004 Cut it or keep it? Find out more about what tipped the balance for this photo and send it as an electronic greeting card at national geographic.com/magazine /0401.