Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Photographing the beautiful Northwest... Argentina, that is.

To follow up on the November 1st posting about his somewhat misadventurous trip to northwest Argentina, Ethan Meleg sends along these images plus some very encouraging words for anyone considering a trip to that region to photograph the unique and colorful scenery.

"After getting robbed at gunpoint on my second day in Argentina and losing much of my camera system as a result, my photo mojo was rock-bottom," says Ethan. "But I managed to pull together enough gear -- including a new Canon EOS Rebel XTi with 18-55mm 'kit' lens -- to keep me shooting for the remaining 12 days--and thankfully so. My father (who was born in Argentina) and I traveled by rental car throughout the vast northwest region of the country.

"I was in continual awe. Every corner revealed spectacular canyons, deserts, mountains and adobe architecture -- a dream landscape for photography. Three of the areas we visited were particularly stunning:
1) Quebrada de Humahuaca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, en route to the scenic towns of Purmamarca and Humahuaca,
2) Calchaqui Valley, to the town of Cachi, and
3) Quebrada de Cafajate, with its incredible badlands near the town of Cafajate.

"Each of these locations offered world-class scenery, easy access for photography (often from right beside the road) and remarkable solitude. I felt like I was the only photographer who had ever been there. I'd never heard of northwest Argentina before as a destination for photography -- it's not on the radar of most North Americans. But it should be. Travel in the country is a bargain, offering great value on food and accommodations near outstanding natural locations.

"The sun rises quickly at this latitude and the sky is almost always quite clear and bright because of the high altitude (we were in the Andes Mountains), so I used my Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer and 4x6-inch Graduated ND filters for almost every photo to reduce reflections and bring out the rich blue skies. Due to our trip logistics, I wasn't able to spend much time shooting at daybreak and dusk, so now I have a serious hunger to go back. It won't be long before I do!"

Now you know the story of how Ethan got his mojo back. And we have the photos to prove it. You can follow Ethan's adventures by visiting his website and blog.

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