Gauchada Week: Rodrigo Sandoval

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Rodrigo Sandoval is a Chilean photographer, fly fishing writer, and computer scientist. He is co-author of two books about fly fishing, and is a contributing editor to Patagon Journal. He and his wife, Isabel Margarita Anaya, also run, an image bank of nature and adventure photos, whose photos have been published in other media such as National Geographic, Outdoors, Revista Domingo, and El Mercurio, among others. As a computer engineer, he is founder and CEO of R:Solver, a software company focused on artificial intelligence, based in Santiago, Chile, and also is associate professor of engineering at Catholic University. Check out more of his work at 

"It even smells like Patagonia"
I know frequent visitors to Patagonia that fondly recall a big part of their trips were the “smells of the southern forest.”  That smell might come from the mist of the deep forest and the intensely pure air of the wild Patagonian places. Among the different plant species in the Patagonian forest, the nalca is one of the most representative ones. With a deep green, rather large leaf, called “Pangue,” the nalca gets only better with the blooming of the colorful and beautiful flower that appears at the end of the winter.
This photo was taken at Fundo Pillan, which was originally part of the original Pumalin Park project. 

"The best of the Cochrane River"  
The upper section of the Cochrane River carries its crystal clear waters downstream toward the famed Baker River, a real icon of the Aysen region in Chilean Patagonia. Along the way, especially in springtime, life seems to concentrate on the big trout that spawn here. This video aspires to give a glimpse of this magnificent event. 


"Always an open eye"  
Frans Lanting, one of the world’s finest nature photographers, says that “the biggest compliment an animal can give you is relaxing in your presence.”  Something like that happened when we ran into a couple of foxes that had recently fed from a guanaco carcass; I discovered them by the road that goes to Lago Sarmiento in Torres del Paine. With only one eye open, the fox never lost sight of me, but the rest of his relaxed, restful posture was the true highlight of the day, allowing us to shoot photos just a few meters away. 

"Super Green"
You don’t have to go very far from Coyhaique to find deep green scenes like this one. This is a view of the Coyhaique River. It’s a wonderful prize for the locals, at least it is from the perspective of people like me who must live in the bigger, darker cities. 

"The angler in the river" 
A typical and expressive fishing scene at the Picaflor River, not far from Villa Manihuales, in Aysen Patagonia. Even an alternative version of this photo, in black and white, may seem timeless; a moment that could have been captured yesterday or 50 years ago. Its because some things don’t ever change in the Patagonian fishing experience: pure water running in between the rocks, the surrounding green forest, and the adrenaline of fooling a trout with a well-presented imitation. 

"The Clouds and the Peaks"
The Cuernos del Paine can perfectly be the most recognizable and photographed peaks in Patagonia. But part of the experience of visiting this iconic section of the Torres del Paine National Park is being exposed to the harsh and variable climate. Just as a day can start with clear skies, it might change in just 20 minutes. Strong winds bring clouds and rain. Even snow can be part of a typical spring day. That’s why this photo features the complete Paine experience in a single frame: the Clouds and the Peaks.

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