In front of the lens in Bolivia

Myself (Cam Cope) trying on a ‘morenada’ dance costume with new friends at a fiesta in San Pedro, La Paz province, Bolivia. Canon 5D Mark II camera and Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM lens. Exposure Details: 1/400 second @ f2.5 ISO 640.

Myself (Cam Cope) trying on a ‘morenada’ dance costume at a fiesta in San Pedro, La Paz province, Bolivia. Canon 5D Mark II camera and Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM lens. Exposure Details: 1/400 second @ f2.5 ISO 640.

Diptych of myself (Cam Cope) trying on a ‘morenada’ dance costume at a fiesta in San Pedro, La Paz province, Bolivia. Canon 5D Mark II camera and Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM lens. Exposure details for both images: 1/400 second @ f2.5 ISO 640.

Standing out at a Bolivian fiesta is unavoidable when you’re a six-foot gringo running around with a beefy camera. Not that standing out is something I wanted to avoid. In fact I’ve found through the years that rather than trying to hide behind the camera, it is far better to use it as a tool to meet and interact with people. When you approach people openly either before or after taking a photo, and share what you are doing with them, suspicion evaporates 99% of the time. At events like festivals, where people are essentially engaged in visual performance, you have a very strong social license to photograph people you don’t know (yet). And so it was that in the San Pedro fiesta that not only did I meet many people through my photography, but I was warmly welcomed and even invited to participate in a ‘morenada‘ dance (after being invited to more than a few beers I might add). I couldn’t resist the chance to try on one of the elaborate costumes that had been on display all day, and after having gotten to know a group of dancers, I could trust them with my camera while I danced.

So after 58 posts on this humble blog, some photographs of myself have finally turned up. They may not be all fine examples of photography but I think they convey a good sense of the fun going on that day. Enjoy them while they last, they’re a rare sight.

Cam.

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2 thoughts on “In front of the lens in Bolivia

  1. Pingback: Trinity and Poverty « CAM COPE Photography Blog

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