Breathtaking Bolivia by George Steinmetz


National Geographic has a photo essay by George Steinmetz on Bolivia and the Altiplano, and the photos are breathtaking.

While there are many spectacular ones, like the first photo of flamingos (oh so sharp and clear!), the one that stood out the most for me is the photo of the shadow of Sajama, the highest peak in Bolivia. My initial thought was he was shooting out of an airplane and the shadow cast was of the wing. You have to see it!

Great stuff!

If you study his photos of Bolivian daily life, you might notice that most of them are taken with a wide angle, which provides a more intimate feel to the photos. I don’t know how “arranged” his people photos are, but I sure have a hard time shooting strangers up close and personal without feeling I’m infringing on their privacy. This is something I’m still trying to figure out. Drop me a note if you have some tips.



11 Responses to “Breathtaking Bolivia by George Steinmetz”

  1. With all due respect, I don’t know if I would use the word “breathtaking” to describe the photo essay.


  2. With all due respect, I don’t know if I would use the word “breathtaking” to describe the photo essay.


  3. 3 TopL

    Hi Ron,

    In retrospect, I suppose I agree with you that “breathtaking” is a little bit of hyperbole. I was looking for some word that starts with the letter “b” to match “Bolivia” and that’s the first thing that came to mind. “Brilliant” maybe? 🙂


  4. I’m not sure Top… 🙂

    I spent 2 months in Bolivia shooting for the Minister of Tourism and I guess I was expecting more from NatGeo…



  5. 5 TopL

    I can see why you’re not as impressed Ron, you’ve done a great job yourself in Bolivia.

    I gotta tell you, I hesitated on using “great” in case you felt otherwise as well :-).

    I’m particularly drawn to these two:

    And this one:

    reminds me of the classic photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson with the silhouette of the man jumping out of the frame:

    BTW, what did you do to embed the GPS coords in the photos?


  6. Thanks for the kind words Top, I appreciate it…

    I use the Sony GPS-CS1KASP to track everything. When downloading from the camera to the copmputer (I use Downloader Pro), it embeds the coordinates into the meta data.

    BTW, I added you to my blogroll…

    R(etc… )

  7. 7 TopL

    I see, Ron. A friend of mine has got that same gadget. I’ve got a GlobalSat DG-100, which does the same thing, but I’ve not used it in a long time. Just one more thing to carry and one more thing to do after downloading the photos. I do plan to use it again at some point…


  8. I know what you mean but the thing I like about the Sony is that it weighs nothing and hangs from a belt loop. Also, with Downloader Pro, it pulls it all together on the fly.

    R(etc… )

  9. 9 TopL

    Looks like Downloader Pro does work with the DG-100, so I might give it a shot once of these days.


  10. 10 Steve

    Michael Reichmann has a brief essay on street photography that may provide you with a few tips:

    It still requires a certain level of confidence along with awareness of the situation, which when traveling or in new situations might be challenging.

  11. 11 TopL

    Thanks for the link Steve.

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