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Photography opportunities in Peru and Bolivia?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by phrenic, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Hey folks,

    Heading to south america for my honeymoon in a week. I'll be spending a week in Peru, hiking up Macchu Picchu and seeing some cities, then off to the Lake Titicaca area and exploring Bolivia. Has anyone been to either of these countries? Things to look out for? Perhaps lens suggestions?

    I'm thinking I'll take the G1 and EP1 with 14-45, 20mm, 9-18mm, and 40-150mm. Hmm a bit more than I would like given the amount of hiking, but I suppose the 20mm barely even counts as carrying a lens..
     
  2. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    517
    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Bob
    Here's a Peruvian photography site run by Arturo Fukuda. If you don't speak the language, you'll need to run it through Google translate for the text. But the Galleries and some of the articles should give you a jumping-off point for locations and photo opps.

    Find it at...

    www.fotoactualidad.com/

    And enjoy your trip!
     
  3. Is your Machu Picchu trek fully confirmed? Having done some research myself it seems that there are limited permits available and demand exceeds supply. Are you planning to hike up to the Sun Gate as well?
     
  4. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    I've spent a lot of time in Bolivia. It's a great destination, and a wonderful place to take pictures. There are so many great locations, but I'd for sure recommend: (a) Lake Titicaca; (b) Potosi; (c) Sucre; and, of course, La Paz.

    Be very careful on public transportation--I had a camera stolen (out of my pocket!) on a 'trufi' (communical taxicab) in Cochabamba. It's a very poor country, so just remember that the camera around your neck could be worth a couple of month's pay for many of the people you'll see. By and by people are very friendly, especially if you can talk a little spanish and ask permission to take their photo (which they will sometimes not grant).

    If you want to take surreptitious pictures of native Bolivians, including the colorfully dressed women in their skirts and bowler hats, you might want a long zoom. But otherwise I'd bring the kind of equipment you'd take on any vacation.

    One more thing: the elevation of many places is extreme (Potosi is over 14,000 feet) so be prepared to do some huffing and puffing and don't be surprised if you can't get around as much as you're used to.

    Have fun!
     
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  5. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Here's a picture of Potosi from last year. The hill is Cerro Rico, source of much of the silver that bankrolled the Spanish economy for 250 years and where as many as a million Indians died extracting it. The hill is still mined today, using techniques not too different from those of 200 years ago. (A great tour, if you get a chance.)

    potosi-2010.
     
  6. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Yeah we went through an organized tour, the inca trail was all out of permits but we are taking the Lares trail which is supposed to be very nice and less busy/touristy. :)
     
  7. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Dec 13, 2010
    Chicago
    I did 3 weeks in Peru several years back, and it wasn't enough time.

    During your trek to Macchu Picchu, be sure to treat your water with any of the treatment pills you can get at REI. Iodine based ones don't bother me (especially with neutralizing tablets), but chlorine based ones exist as well which make the water taste like good old American tap water, a taste we should all be used to.

    I got sick during the hike (symptoms started the day after we finished), and ended up losing 20 pounds. Suffice it to say, it kind of limited me during my last week of the trip.

    Cool places in Peru include Huacachina, and oasis outside of Ica (pictured below). I didn't get a chance to visit the Amazon and Colca Canyon, both of which would provide you with a myriad of photo opportunities.

    Of course, the Incan and other ruins throughout Peru are very photogenic.

    Here are some shots done with my trusty old Oly C3020:

    Dune ride at Huacachina:
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6DFID10W9QTkmwdl64ntng?feat=embedwebsite">https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-i36L7EMd7kg/TOHYDudYG1I/AAAAAAAAFaE/7kvmp3IK_zE/s640/Ica%2525207-27-2005%2525205-48-10%252520PM.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/robertbrozyna/2005Peru?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">2005 - Peru</a></td></tr></table>

    Mummies at Nazca:
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/H1wH5erlGIsPRSW3UPLy-A?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-r-tw766DEOU/TOHYJ4AwSPI/AAAAAAAAFbI/MqcCPZTF8hw/s640/Ica%2525207-29-2005%25252012-44-00%252520PM.JPG" height="640" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/robertbrozyna/2005Peru?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">2005 - Peru</a></td></tr></table>

    Yours truly in the Andes:
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/YHPIXw3y344xRXCyNpuVfw?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-kzwdvxv2L7w/TOHYdFRKjZI/AAAAAAAAFd0/7MunArAI3uQ/s640/Trek%2525208-2-2005%25252011-19-01%252520AM.JPG" height="640" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/robertbrozyna/2005Peru?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">2005 - Peru</a></td></tr></table>

    Terraces at Macchu Piccu
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Kjixm2hBMaVS91ChOd81oA?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-bf6NBhDWNG4/TOHYsoZyORI/AAAAAAAALAo/h72H5MIC1SM/s640/Trek%2525208-5-2005%2525208-06-56%252520PM.JPG" height="457" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/robertbrozyna/2005Peru?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">2005 - Peru</a></td></tr></table>

    Lake Titicaca:
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/kjD-Y3VaI6BCo1D5n-7utw?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-vVB5eaW3DKA/TOHY4OrbIYI/AAAAAAAAFiI/KLoG_nfRz6A/s640/Titicaca%2525208-12-2005%2525209-45-36%252520AM.JPG" height="640" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/robertbrozyna/2005Peru?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">2005 - Peru</a></td></tr></table>
     
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  8. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Wonderful pics, thanks. A good warning about the water...if i lost that much weight i'd probably be hospitalized. :/

    For those who have been, how safe did you feel? Is theft a major probem like the camera story. I have to say sometimes the warnings are exaggerated, as i found while travelling through thailand, cambodia and vietnam..
     
  9. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Dec 13, 2010
    Chicago
    If you have experience traveling in SE Asia, then I think you'll be absolutely fine in South America.

    Peru is safe, especially where you will be. You might find yourself wishing to get away from fellow travelers, there will be so many of them; more white faces than brown. I've never been to Bolivia, but I understand it's less developed and less touristy.

    Just keep your street smarts about you. Don't flaunt your shit and just blend in. Smile a lot. Stay away shady looking dudes and trust your gut.

    Have fun!
     
  10. betamax

    betamax Mu-43 Regular

    195
    May 7, 2011
    NSW, Australia
    Alan
    I"m thinking of doing a similar trip next year. I think I'd just take a single lens if I could. The 14-150. Not the sharpest kid on the block, but the next option would be buying something like an SZ10. Extremely pocketable, versatile, but at some expense in quality.
     
  11. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    It's usually the water you don't drink that gets you ... Brushing your teeth, ice, water used to wash things. if you really want to be safe:

    Dont drink any water you don't know EXACTLY where it's been. There are a number of scams where people reuse water bottles in manners that make them appear safe - one common one involves drilling out the molding gate in the bottom of the bottle and replacing it with a plug.

    Don't eat the peel of any fruit/vegetable you think has been washed in untreated water unless its been cooked and is served HOT (not warm, HOT).

    Don't ever get ice. It is hardly ever made from treated water. Beware of bottles that have been chilled in ice water - I know SEVERAL people who have been done in by that one!

    Some may say the above is paranoid, and that may be true. Only you can decide what level of comfort/risk you wish to take, but if you follow the above and stick to only cooked food, I can almost guarantee you will avoid Montezuma's Revenge (or Delhi Belly depending on which side of the world you're on)
     
  12. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Yeah I have travelled through developing places without great water/sanitation..china, malaysia, thailand, vietnam and cambodia..hard to say what will do you in and what the body can seem to take. Sometimes you are sloppy and get away witht it, other times you're super careful and still get sick. Oh well, i will try to be as safe as possible!

    I have to say, feeling bitter that my monopod is probably not tsa safe. :(
     
  13. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    What makes you think that? I regularly travel with my carbon fiber tripod,and have never once been questioned about it.
     
  14. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Hmm maybe I will try it next time. I just can't help but assume the worse of the organization that was so adamant about stopping toiletries and personal grooming devices...not to mention far worse examples of incompetence. Would be a great piss off to have it confiscated. Maybe carbon fibre is cool, but a more solid metal monopod could be used as a weapon.

    Anyways, as a follow-up had a wonderful trip!



    No problems carrying around the 20, 9-18, 14-45, 40-150 and 2 bodies..pretty photo friendly place. And boy did I appreciate the weight savings given how thin the air is, making everything just a little more difficult. Expect more pics soon. :wink:
     
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