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!
Cashless in Cobacabana
Canon 7D, 32mm, f/5.6, 1/640s, ISO 100
Cobacabana in Bolivia is a small city by the shores of lake Titicaca that is famous for the church of Our Lady of Copacabana. Poverty there though is as visible, if not more than it is anywhere else in Bolivia, and even on the wholy grounds you see many women begging. Heartbreaking… I don’t normally do much colour street photography, but in this case the contrast between the bright colors and the misery seemed to call for a colour treatment…
While on a short trip accross the Bolivian Altiplano, my car was stopped by a morenada, a traditional street parade with brass band and dancers. The tuba players were the best!
An attempt at capturing the majesty of the Altiplano and the surrounding mountains. This is Mount Ancohuma accross Lake Titikaka in Bolivia.