I just made this epic tome of my images from Peru. I built it as a book dummy and portfolio piece. Its about 160 pages and is being printed on high quality, Ilford Pearl Lustre paper with archival end pages, an oatmeal colored linen cover with this cool, wrap around cover sheet. You can view it here and even order one though its damn expensive. My concept for the book was to show different vignettes and photo stories from my 9 months of travel in Peru in 2009 and have fun, colorful chapter breaks with grids of various cultural items. Some examples below.
We needed a “Get the Hell out of NYC” trip the other day so we headed to Amish country for an overnight and, praise be the lord, stumbled upon an antique auction. These events are an amazing dose of Americana..the people, the stuff, the sounds. And if you are a junker like me, its the holy grail. I scored a beautifully distressed framed photo of a farmhouse from 1920 for $6, a braided rug for $9 and Fiorella bought a guitar from 1965 for $40. The auctioneer had an amazing “call” and I found its repetition to be very rhythmic and musical. Is this where Philip Glass got his musical inspirations from? Was he listening to auctions on the radio as he drove his cab in the 70′s while composing “Einstein on the Beach”?
I took a couple videos of a woman next to us knitting a blanket and loved the juxtaposition of the slowness of her work and project and the hyper-active call of the auction.
and another variation:
And here is a video of Fiorella buying a guitar. Note her trying to outbid herself at the end..so cute.
In my last trip to Peru I stumbled upon a ceremony where people came to have their vehicles blessed by a priest in the parking lot of a 200 year old church. The priest from the church was going car to car and showering cars, people, engines, tires and grandmas alike with holy water as well as blessings to ensure the people safe travel. The church, located up a mountain from San Salvador in a tiny enclave named Huanca, hosts the ceremony every year and the 200 or so people had driven from all around Southern Peru.
The 200 year old church which hosts the ceremony is an hour East of Cusco, the city in the South of Peru that one goes to before venturing on to Machu Picchu.
Here is some film images from my recent three week trip to Peru. These are all from Peru’s capital city of Lima. Pizarro founded the city in 1535 in the valleys of three conjoined rivers, hence the overcast and smoggy air quality as the surrounding desert mountains don’t let the air circulate out to the ocean. Its said to be a dangerous place but I really dig it. Its medieval, depressed, gritty and alive…much more then the more up-scale suburbs that most tourists and Limenos prefer.
Just returned the other day from my second jaunt to the land of my girlfriend. Spent 3 weeks, a couple in Lima then a week in the south where my moms and I tackled a day on the famed Inca Trail and then took in Machu Picchu. Twice in 9 months..never thought that would happen..so don’t need to go there for about 5 years but lots more to see in Peru. I would like to visit a more recently discovered ruin in the north named “Kuelap” that is said to rival Machu Picchu and gets just a handful of tourists. Also, the deserts of Ica are amazing for paleontology. Take a walk back in there and u will literally stumble on exposed whale skeletons.
All the images here are from my G9 Point and Shoot. I shot 20 rolls of film but haven’t gotten them souped yet. The images are actually in the chronological order I shot them starting on Dec 21 to Jan 11th. Lots more to come…
The new blog I am the photographer for, the South Brooklyn Post has a front page story on the cruiseship industry and how, when idling in the ports of Red Hook, Brooklyn, spew out emissions equal to 12,000 cars! Please check it and pass it round. I am super proud of the piece because I feel it may bring attention to an underreported issue and actually exercising the power of journalism, something I don’t get to do as much as I would like.
The paper has just been up for about two weeks now and is an effort from me and a fellow Detroit Journalist Lisa Collins.
Coming back from a friend’s wedding in Cadillac, Michigan last weekend I decided to take some country roads. After a look at the map and an hour of winding shite, I found M-52 and it was perfect. The trees were blazing with fall color and farms ran along both sides of the road which yielded fields of sunflowers, farm houses, pumpkins, beautiful sky’s and rolling hills which is quite rare in Michigan. At one point, off on a road to my right was a man coming towards me riding in a racing horse carriage sort of thing and just 3 seconds later, while contemplating what I had just seen, I glanced to my left to see a Tea Party Norman Rockwell scene. A man, in head to toe camo, stepping out of his SUV and then his 5-year-old son followed, also in camo. Hunting season in Michigan.
I later stopped off at a roadside farm stand that operates on the honor system which sorta boggles my brain when I try to comprehend it. It’s so beautiful it’s almost sad. Love that it actually exists in this era still. I bought a large box of heirloom grape tomatoes for $1 as well as some tasty zucs and cucs.
Shooting at 55 mph is a fun exercise (errant focus areas, lots of errors, quick on the shutter draw practice) while usually producing some beautiful effects (motion blurs in the foregrounds with stable backgrounds, amazing contrast with opposing skies).
For Christmas and New Years I ventured, along with my lady, to the Southern regions of Peru. As a lover of road-trips I pushed for using the car and taking our time. We seemed to enter a new eco-system every day..desert, dunes, coastal grass lined cliffs, mountains, canyons. New Years Eve was spent in the bottom of the worlds deepest canyon in an adobe hut. The 2.5 day long debacle of our car breaking down at 12,000 ft. was not fun while it happened nor has it gained a rosier shade upon recollection. Getting out of Lima, a rather drab and chaotic mess of a city was probably the best part though some Peruvian “magic” was experienced.
Our drunk burro driver kept falling asleep on the 2 hour sweaty, dusty, scary ride out of the canyon on New Years day morning. Along the route were 3000 ft drops inches away from the burro’s feet so I was not super stoked to say the least. We had walked down (and I walked like a zombie for days after) so when my princess said she wanted to take this way out I secretly was relieved.
After being stranded for 24 hours in the middle of nowhere and dealing with a rescue vehicle Fiorella procured that had to be push started every 20 minutes, we finally got to another middle of nowhere place and a tow truck was our way out over a mountain pass back to Arequipa where we spent an extra half day getting the car fixed. Fuel pump lined disconnected from bottoming out…
Fiorella scared the living shit out of me with a 2 minute long blood curdling scream while in a dune buggy in Huacachina, a cool little literal oasis city in the dunes. We took the buggy up so I could try sandboarding and give my addiction of descent down hills with wood strapped to my feet a little dose of satisfaction (review: pretty fun though hard to link turns and sand is not so forgiving on the arse). I thought she was having an anxiety attack and was going to give herself an aneurysm. Turned out she was having a blast. RUDE!
Since I arrived in Lima 2 months ago one thing that has continuously caught my eye are the automobiles. It’s a strange and cool assortment. It is like Cuba here as many vintage rides have survived, some more graciously then others to be sure, but these aren’t your garden variety Cuban 1950′s American classics. This is a much stranger breed. It’s mostly 1970′s Japanese models as well as a motley assortment of others that look like they may have been commandeered by the Shining Path. Every time I venture out I have head-turning moments as these funky rides are ubiquitous, hilarious and rare. And since I hail from the Motor City, thats something.
Another cool aspect to this is that what some folks here people are using for everyday rides would be used for show cars and Sunday cruisers in the US.