Archive for April, 2010

South America Photo Catchup #7: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Well, that's it. I think, barring any mental hiccups, that this is the lot. I've finally wrung the last bit of blood from the stone, and these shots are the last new ones that should be coming out of the South America trip. I mean, it's only 3 months since I got back. Ahead of schedule, really. Ahem. Next steps are to do a "Top 20 fave shots" post and then, if I am feeling energetic, the 10 minute video-to-end-all-videos. 

But back to the matter at hand. The shots below go into more depth around the 3-day trip around the Salar de Uyuni, the coloured lakes, and the southern deserts of Bolivia. The original trip report post – with some updated photos – is here

Just outside the town of Uyuni is the train graveyard:

Then out on the Uyuni salt lake itself, a look back at the jeep trail crossing the flat, and a bird nesting in a cactus:

In the town of San Juan, the clearly-not-Inca-but-still-creepy burial chambers, and a lovely sunset over the mountains:

From there we pushed down into the coloured lakes – many of them populated by crowds of flamengos and surrounded by llama herds:

Almost to the end, we covered a lot of ground in various deserts, and stopped at the famous "Arbol de Piedra" or Stone Tree:

Finally, we end on the sunrise over the Laguna Salada, with steam rising off the volcanically-heated water…

That should about do it for now!

South America Photo Catchup #6: La Paz, Bolivia

To my deep shame, it’s been a month since my last South America photo post. Workload, and a number of current photo sessions got in the way. I am in danger, nearly 3 months on from getting home, of having forgotten what these pictures are actually of! My work load has slacked off a bit, now, and I have a strong desire to get the last of the South American photos up and blogged before a trip to Istanbul in mid-May, when I know I’ll have a whole new round of photo madness. 

In any case, to the photos. This time the shots are of La Paz, the chaotic, bustling, friendly, eye-opening capital of Bolivia. Perched in a valley gouged out of the Altiplano, La Paz is around 3,600m (11,800ft) and so any effort such as hill-climbing leaves you panting for air. Unfortunately, La Paz is made of hills. 

First some scene-setting shots:

Now some shots around the markets, especially the Witches Market, where one can acquire any manner of non-traditional medicines / unguents, including the all-purpose dried llama fetus.

Next some shots around the Plaza Murillo, the seat of government, where the folk-hero indigenous president Evo Morales presides. Ever since he’s come to power, he’s adopted a populist stance in this majority-indigenous country by welcoming all manner of different indigenous groups to visit him. ‘Most any time you go to the Plaza Murillo there are heaps of indigenous folk in traditional dress waiting their turn to go into the halls of power, mixing with riot police, all under the backdrop of bullet holes scored into walls from a not-too-distant uprising….

Speaking of Mr Morales, his name “EVO” is plastered everywhere in Bolivia, there having just been an election which he won handily. The fact that dire poverty exists in close proximity to his ads is very Bolivian. 

Great article from David Bergman about mastering event photography

This is very good advice for any current or aspiring photographers, on how to adopt general attitude of trying to separate yourself from the herd when photographing events. I’ve been confronted with the very same issues before and have had to go out on a limb to get different shots from the pack…

At most of the events I cover, there are a lot of other photographers. The wire services and local newspaper shooters always do a great job covering the event. So what can I bring to the table? If I just shoot the same images as everyone else, there’s no reason for me to be there.

The easiest way to separate myself is to literally move away from the other photographers. I try to take chances and go for the high risk shot. It doesn’t always pay off, but when it does, it’s worth it.


Photo of Serpentine gets “Photo of the Day” on

I was happy to see that I've gotten another Photo of the Day, this time from, and it's one from my spring photowalk series from last Saturday. As is always the way, it's not actually my favourite one, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder! 

(I have craftily corrected the exposure a bit using Piknik as I thought it looked a bit dark once I was away from my home computer…)

Photos from springtime: Riverside and Park Life

A few shots from Saturday’s stroll along the Thames and up into the grand parks of London on a glorious, hot, sunny day. One of the first of 2010. Pray there will be many more and that we don’t suffer another rubbish summer.

West London Sky sans Airplanes

Since the ash from the Icelandic volcano has resulted in a full UK ground stop for days now, the springtime sunshine and blue skies are untroubled by the sound of planes, or their visible evidence in the skies. For the first time in ages, we have a properly blue sky.

EDIT: Interestingly as I was just browsing Twitter I came across this post, retweeted by my friend @yezzer: @ruskin147: One of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen in the sky over West London

Syon Park, London

I recently had the good fortune to attend the wedding of some good friends at the stately home of Syon Park, near Richmond. This is the family seat of the Duke of Northumberland, and was very posh. A great wedding venue, as you'll see.

Dick Dale at the Luminaire

On Friday night my sister Sally, her boyfriend Jake, and myself popped up to the Luminaire in Kilburn to hear a set by surf-rock legend and all around dude, Dick Dale, who melted our faces with a blistering set of machismo and overcranked amps. My ears are still ringing. 

I had my Canon S90 with me and despite its annoying lack of low-light autofocus competency I managed to snag a few shots from "the pit".