The charango is a wonderful little guitar like instrument with lots of strings for its body size. I wanted to buy one in La Paz for my son who plays guitar, and so walked into this store. I asked the salesguy if he would demonstrate the sound differences between the various models, and he seemed more than happy to be photographed in the process.
Walking the tiny streets of La Paz looking for souvenirs and typical stuff I saw all kinds of things both wonderful (like these bead necklaces) and grotesque (like dried llama foetuses to bury under your new home for good luck). The most important thing to me was that although the street stalls catered for tourists, they also catered for locals and it all felt real. I tried to capture that in this quasi-abstract shot.
As I was being driven back from Copacabana to La Paz, the car stopped in the middle of nowhere, and I couldn’t figure out why. Finally, the driver said there might be a Morenada ahead as this was a saturday. Upon understanding what he was talking about, I grabbed my camera with the lens that was on it (a 50mm, it turned out, which in APSC meant 80mm) and ran towards the festivities. In between the harsh light and the excessive focal length, I had a hard time framing this wonderful dance but a few of the shots were keepers still. This one I like, in part because the woman at the forefront looks so serious about it.
Under the Deep Blue Sky
The Altiplano is so high that the sky is a deep deep blue and the light is super harsh. This makes lit whites super white (as on the left here) and shadows super dark (as in the middle and the right). Our Lady of Copacabana is all whitewashed, but when I got there, late morning, not all of it was lit, causing these stark contrasts that I like.
I read somewhere that when the Spanish arrived in South America the Inca had over 50 species of fruit and vegetables they commonly ate where the Europeans fared on 4 or 5. We forget it too easily, but tomatoes, potatoes and many of our modern food comes from South America. In Copacabana there was a wet market with dozens of varieties of potatoes I had never seen, and the widest range of crisps (corn, potatoes and probably much else besides) I had ever seen. I even bought a sack of corn crisps to bring back to La Paz!
Entering Humayun’s Tomb
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/7.1, 1/800s, ISO 400
The only time I had the leisure of visiting a bit of Dehli, I went to Humayun’s Tomb and spent a good amount of time there. It’s a marvelous place, and one of the things I loved was these alignments of portals, identically shaped. I need to go back to India…
Canon 7D, 135mm, f/1.8, 1/400s, ISO 800
A few years ago I was invited by a Greek friend to the christening of his son, and we decided to make a family trip of it. I took many shots during the ceremony and I have to say that I found the ritual fascinating. One thing I really wanted to capture was the smoke form the incense burner, and this shot was a good capture of that.
Canon 7D, 32mm, f/5.6, 1/100s, ISO 400
Taking tuktuks in India or Thailand can be scary, but it’s also a unique way to experience the city. I just love it. At the back of Surinder’s tuktuk in Dehli I kept trying to shoot him in his mirror and this shot was the best one I got. I really like it.
Gnawa Street Musician
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1250s, ISO 400
There are street musicians you just want to give money to. This guy had such a smile that you couldn’t resist him. I don’t remember how the music was, but it’s one of the only things in Marrakech that I really liked (the rest of Morocco was much more interesting).
End of the Night
Canon EOS7D, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/160s, ISO 1600
Monophonics is a spectacular band to see live. Singer / keyboard player Kelly Finnigan has the kind of stage presence and energy that you don’t expect to see live these days anymore. Saying he ends each gig drenched in sweat would be a lie: he is drenched from the beginning of the third song. For this particular gig I was standing a meter away from the band and eye level with them which gave me some cool opportunities for photos I don’t normally get to do but also proved super challenging. This one of the winning shots from that gig.