Montaña Colorada


Behind the Scenes of this Photo

Taken somewhere in remote southern Bolivia on April 9, 2017.

Southern Bolivia is a land of extremes: altitude, dryness, vulcanism. It’s a weird and marvelous place full of natural wonders. In a sub-range of the Andes, somewhere down there, there is a mountain cascading with minerals. Each mineral is a different color, and when the sun strikes the hillside they light up in a peacock-esque display of color.

Key Learning Tip:

In landscape photography it is hammered into our heads that we should only ever take photos at sunrise and sunset. But the truth is that there are certain kinds of landscapes that work very well in bright, direct sunlight. For example, high contrast black and white photos can be great in direct sun. Or intentional panning shots. Or macro photos. Or, as in this case, intimate images of landscapes with smooth curves and flowing lines. Think rolling agricultural land like the Palouse, sinuous sand dunes in Death Valley, or the beautiful mineral deposits of Montana Colorada in Bolivia.

In fact, this photo works better because of the direct sunlight. The neutral color of daylight brings out the colors throughout the whole spectrum, not just the reds or blues. And because the sun was directly behind me as well it eliminated the shadows of the landscape, allowing the shapes and colors to take center stage.

Remember, the best light for any scene is light that enhances the features of the landscape that you want to emphasize. So if direct sunlight is working for your scene then use it and shoot!

See more beautiful South America photos here.

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