Four Extraordinary South American Travel Photographers

‘The more you knew of South America, the more you would understand that anything was possible – anything.’

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World

I love travel photography and sometimes I see someone’s work that just amazes and humbles me.

Here’s a selection of work from South American photographers that have recently caught my eye:

Claudio Edinger

São Paolo based Brazilian photographer Claudio Edinger has a stunning series of black and white photos of Rio de Janiero. The look of the photos is quite special because they were taken on a 4×5 camera. This unwieldy beast is difficult and time-consuming to use, especially compared to 35mm cameras. The pay off is that the extra-large negatives produce beautiful prints and that the shift and tilt movements of the lens can create some extraordinary selective focussing effects, which can be seen in Edinger’s photos.

I also like his colour photos of Bahia and Old Havana/India.

Martín Chambi

Born in 1891 in Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca in Peru, Martín Chambi moved to Cusco as a young man and became a photographer. His subjects range from the Cusco’s social and political elite to the lives of the local peasants and the landscapes and ruins of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

The eyes of the people he photographed stare out of his hauntingly beautiful black and white photos like ghosts from the past. You can see them here, here and here.

Pablo Corral Vega

Ecuadorian photojournalist Pablo Corral Vega presents his photos on his website in slideshows accompanied by music. I especially like his portfolios The Andes and Tango.

Sebastian Belaustegui

Born in Argentina, now based in Mexico, Sebastian Belaustegui photographs the indigenous peoples of Latin America. In 2003 he published a book called ‘Guardienes del Tiempo’ (Gaurdians of Time) for which he travelled through 10 countries and lived with 25 indigenous communities. Now he’s working on a new project documenting the influence of African culture in the Americas.

You can see his work at his website.

I’ll be exploring the theme of travel photography a little more over the next few weeks. I’ll be writing a little about the story behind the Travel Photographer of the Year Competition and will be interviewing some of the past winners. I’ll also be reviewing some travel books that I’ve recently read including Tim Butcher’s ‘Blood River’ and Hugh Thomson’s ‘The White Rock’.