cheech 297

Ongoing projects

Posts tagged ‘Chile’

Laguna Santa Rosa

These start at the saline lake, approximate elevation 4,000 meters, and follow the flow of moisture down the mountains. In some places it’s a 4 inch rivulet with a narrow green border that you could jump across with ease, other places it widens up enough to graze livestock, and in others you can only trace it by the plants that survive in its aftermath.








Shades of grey

I was completely smitten with these shades of grey, especially in a landscape where I expected only a pallet of warm tones, endless variations of reds and yellows and browns. These are just a few of the variations of grey.





They are all variations on a theme, but I find that I can’t chose a favorite. Unfortunately for a final edit I will have to chose, I am open to suggestions if anyone would like to venture an opinion.

Chile….the edit begins

Finally, I have waded through all the photos I shot in Chile…almost 1500 images. They seem to be sorting themselves out into general categories, but not a smooth narrative, but then I’m not sure the trip had a narrative, just vignettes. The landscapes are the strongest images, particularly the ones from around Copiapo, so I will start there. Feel free to offer opinions, pick favorites or anti-favorites, if you prefer. I am going to split this group into three or four posts to keep it reasonable.

This is looking back into Chile on the way to the security check for the border crossing into Argentina. The 12th stage of the Dakar Rally 2013 ran near here, it blows my mind that we drove through the same landscape as the rally, my Dad would have been so proud. This was also the highest point we photographed from – roughly 4,500 meters – we didn’t go too much higher.

There are nice photos of the Dakar Rally available at The Atlantic

This is the saline lake near the security check, the rally should have blown by this as well.


I knew sand didn’t come in just one color, but I didn’t really get it until this trip. Also, who knew those swirly sand art things were based on a natural phenomena.


Here you can see how the underlying rock determines the color.


I never knew sand came in lavender.

Next post….shades of grey…..


It’s been awhile, but I have finally made progress on editing the work from Chile. I have also been going through the last eighteen months worth of work to try and pull together 20 images from two “stories” to submit for a portfolio review. It’s fascinating to see the odd trends that show up in one’s own work…….it’s amazing how many times one takes the same picture, sometimes it’s the composition that repeats, sometimes the subject, often for me it’s a color that I take a shine to, there seems to be an ongoing orange theme these days…..sometimes overt as below, and sometimes just the cast of the light (that late day glow that improves even the most banal portraits).

I had forgotten that I had even taken this photo in Chile, something about orange and institutional green just amuses the hell out of me, though I’ve probably dated myself by considering this an institutional color, 1970’s swimming pools and high school hallways…ick…. I might need to bleach my brain now.

One from my chair series, shot just down the road from home.

More orange. Even though it was late in the day, the sun low in the sky the light stayed cool in comparison to the same ‘time of day’ in the summer….as seen below in Chile.

Next will be pictures from the desert, and maybe sometime soon I’ll post some blue photos or maybe corners, come to think of it I think I can do blue corners……argh.

Chilean street dogs

So street dogs got a lot of publicity on Xmas, due to that magic combination of a slow news day and a fun piece on the AP wire. You can find the story here
In their honor I thought I’d post a few more photos.

These guys were just hanging out, like one big happy play group.

Even big dogs need a little caffeine.

This dog traveled with another golden/lab cross that was sleeping on the other side of the street.

When I first saw this dog he was drinking in the fountain while the kids admired him, but the high light of this photo has to be the girls in red.

I don’t know if this dog got lucky hanging out here but it certainly seems like the place to be.

Chile…..street art

Editing continues….slowly. I hope by next week to have a proper page of street art posted. Here are two examples from my quick edit that I am fond of. They were taken in Huesco (I hope I have the spelling right) which is a town on the coast, west of Vallenar, half way between La Serena and Copiapo.

20121206-132739.jpgAround the corner there was an NWA stencil, which made me wonder if it was the same NWA, or if I was dating myself or just showing my absolute lack of knowledge about music.
This was only a few doors down.

20121206-133229.jpgI am often amazed by how advertising, especially iconic typography becomes street art.
Street art, wall painting, advertising, graffiti, how ever one refers to it, it always makes me wonder who is choosing to leave it up and why. Chile seems to be incredibly tolerant of it, perhaps even to embrace it. I know I have certainly enjoyed it.

Chile…..Editing ugh…..

500 images in, filed and tagged….not even halfway through. I am a little frightened. They look so much better on a decent screen, it’s really quite a relief. It’s odd To go from shooting so much to none, bur tomorrow I will hunt the inflatable Xmas decoration…..I have three locations already scouted.
But here is a question from our travels in the desert is it art? A science experiment ? Or a warning?

20121201-002633.jpgAcross the road was a rib cage and skull… propped up (I haven’t gotten to that one in the edit yet). No idea what that one mention either, they
were half way up the road to Laguna Rosa…

This is another shot of the stream that ran down from Laguna Rosa, it’s only about four inches wide here.

20121201-003539.jpgAnd here’s the Pacific Ocean, just because its pretty.

20121201-003902.jpgThis is just south of Los Vilos and I couldn’t believe the flowers. I don’t know what the blue ones were, but they certainly were prolific, and the whole entrance was landscaped in Portulaca, its used as a ground cover here.


So I’m home, which is mostly good, because there are pets – who I am terribly fond of – and my own coffee – that is never, ever NescafĂ©. But there is a distinct lack of sunshine and color and after twenty odd days of photographing things like this

And this

I am finding our northeastern early winter a bit drab. I am also a bit overwhelmed at the thought of properly editing all the work I did, as opposed to the quick and dirty edits I did on the trip. I will continue to post odds and ends for awhile and eventually there will be a gallery or two of tightly edited work, no more than twenty images in a gallery if that many.

Chile….more dogs…why not

This guy was one of several really nice looking Golden Retriever/Yellow Labs that we saw in La Serena.

20121127-173904.jpgNotice he’s blocking the entrance, nobody cared, just walked around the dogs when they were in the way. He was averaged size for the strays we saw in La Serena, there were also a large number of German Shepards (most of whom looked pure bred).
Questions with no answers….. Why were all the strays big? Who fed them? Why were they all so well mannered? Why did we only see one scruffy looking stray in our time in La Serena? The whole thing was just really puzzling. It was almost like the center of the city was an exceptionally well run dog park. Clean too, only once saw any dog shit. I mean really who is doing all the clean up.

20121127-175156.jpgA blue eyed stray at a gas station between Copiapo and La Serena who accepted cookies only after great deliberation, obviously used to a higher class of handout.
And look Squeek has relatives in Chilean mountains.


Chile…cloud forest

So I promised Karin a post about the cloud forest…. Parque Nacional Fray Jorge is a UNESCO Heritage Site located 40 kilometers off the Pan-American highway, roughly due west of Ovalle. The road to it is better marked than the other parks we tried to find and they have put in a very nice visitor center. We were surprised by the number of school buses there. The forest is a small part of the protected area and it makes a remarkable contrast to the surrounding arid landscape.Unfortunately it is almost impossible to photograph, as it is cloudy, dense and overwhelmingly green, but there is a boardwalk through part of it and a walking path through another.

20121126-150433.jpgSo as you can see no brilliant photographing of the green from me, I got some shoots of individual flowers and epiphytes (air plants – always cool), but they’re only interesting if you are identifying plants.
This is why there’s a cloud forest….

20121126-151210.jpgAll that moisture drops out on the seaward side of the hill allowing the forest to thrive. There is another big drop off of moisture further in land, creating an intermediate zone with different flora and better farming and grazing than the area closer to the highway.
This is the side of the hill inland from the cloud forest….

20121126-151424.jpgThis is looking down from the forest. Note the road and the elevation change. They only let six cars a day drive to the top, so as to protect the forest. Remember the school buses…all those kids….they walked. Remember how your mom got volunteered to go on school trips? So do you think they told them about the hill? Probably not.