About photography and life


Time Travel

Seventh Avenue NYC

Despite our efforts, the universe, cosmos, God or “the matrix” if you prefer have a tendency to place things in a specific order. Chaos does not seems to be a random way to organize our lives. I have traveled in time to find out that left and right sides are years apart for those who know about such a voyage, but not so for people unaware of the journey. In fact, I was aboard but I have a serious doubt that I’ve moved a meter in space or a second in time.

This picture of NY is a composite of 2 images taken 15 years apart. Almost from the same spot, from both sides of the street.


Double Emotion

Tango couples dancing at Milonga Sin Rumbo

This past weekend I’ve spent several hours surrounded by intense emotion.

In spite of being quite different one from the other, the feeling perceived was so deep that makes impossible to be unaware of.

People at the “milonga” dancing tango with dramatic focus on every step and also a coherent expression on his faces were not different to those following the “fútbol” match at Boca Juniors stadium.

Tango dancers don’t sing, instead Boca Juniors fans do it from minute zero to minute 90 of the match. Non-stop. It’s simply amazing.

This past weekend I’ve personally confirmed that you should not die before spending a friday night at the milonga or a sunday afternoon at La Bombonera.

Boca Juniors "Hinchas" at the moment when the local team shows up on the field.


“La Bombonera” as the stadium is known, took it’s name because somebody found that it resembles a chocolate box.

The World without Color

Hotel in Prague

Things are not always black or white, sometimes are gray. Almost are gray.

As a travel photographer I frequently cross the line into documentary photography. Such a discipline that I personally enjoy and also admire.

I strongly believe that many of  the best photographers in history were players of that arena. Many  of them in fact, gladiators.

But, what happen with black and white? In the origin, the only way to capture an image. Today as a choice, as a way of expression.
The lack of color translates in a resource gone, but at the same time in an added one, so incredibly powerful that will endure forever.

I’ve started a new gallery on my website where I will post my black and white work.

Prague Main Train Station (Praha Hlavni Nadrazi)







Twin Towers at Dusk

WTC view from Empire State Building, September 1999

Buenos Aires, September 11th, 2001

I’m driving to my office, as usual. I listen to the radio, as usual. Someone is saying that a small plane, probably a Cessna, has crashed in NYC.
I turn the volume up, I’ve  just  turned at Plaza San Martín in Buenos Aires. A few blocks later the mood on the speaker is starting to change.
It seems to be a bit worst. I rush to the parking lot.

As soon as I get in my desk I open the CNN website, I refresh every minute until the main page just shows a couple of lines.
Such a spartan web that frighten by itself.

The world is changing forever. The company where I’m working on is American, we’re asked to evacuate the building.

With my co-worker friends we rush to cross the street to a nearby bar and watch the live news.
I’m starting to worry about my brothers, living in Los Angeles, CA. The scope of the attack is uncertain. I’m calling them to warn and say “stay alert”, as they are still sleeping at 5 AM completely unaware of what is going on.
I can’t imagine the fear of those with family and friends in NYC or even more to those who were meant to be at the WTC surroundings.

Today, I just desire a better world, without violence, without such disrespect for life. I don’t care who started, but we ALL need to stop it now.

Talent: Gifted or not

Freddie Mercury

65th Birthday this week

I believe that the majority of people are not lucky enough  to discover a given talent as soon as they leave the crib.

So, we have a flock of illuminated almost extra-terrestrial humans that without preparation, effort or intention are outstanding at pursuing a determined task. When those gifted work hard, study and try to perform like nobody else we get icons, gold-medallists, world champions and nobel prize winners.

But, what happen to the rest of us? Despite the odds, can we try? Yes, of course and we should.

I strongly believe that we must follow our heart and try to bring to the surface such hidden spark. If you want to play guitar, do it. How important is to beat Eddie Van Halen in a finger speed contest? Not important at all while you enjoy and enlighten your life.

Life may become too short. So, Carpe Diem.

In honour to a gifted indeed.

Photography 24×7


Despite summer days are long enough in Patagonia, many times you’re forced to slow down because of extreme bad weather. Then, another problem arise: abstinence.

Not that kind but the one that keeps your camera in the backpack.

So, you have a lot of time to think, even on those windy nights you try to figure out how to make the most of your precious time there. The mountains are black, deep black, the forest is black, it’s difficult to even imagine a picture. But faint light becomes a powerful source with long exposures. Then you add the moonlight and other sources of distant illumination and a picture can be made.

Incandescent lamps


incandescent lamp light bulbThis week, sales of incandescent light bulbs has been banned in Argentina. Those cheap to buy and expensive to mantain lamps that illuminated our lives are gone forever. Good news indeed!!

But I already miss that romantic flickering of the filament when the lamp was to die, or those dim hallways with a bare 25 watt bulb or when the thin glass cracked without the fear of releasing mercury to the atmosphere.

This kind of “sacrifice” will put less pressure to our power grid, even though life will continue as usual. I just hope that everyone on everything that can be done in that very same direction can be fullfilled before extinction recalls for other kind of species. Don’t you think?

Mar del Plata, Argentina

Mar del Plata, Argentina

Since I was born, world population has duplicated. This year we’ll reach almost 7 billion people. In just 40 years.

Many times, I try to figure, how smart, humble, generous, kind, conscious, organized, polite and sustainable must be our people to share such a small and fragile environment as our planet.

Food, water, land, energy, natural resources, and so many things should be very carefully administered in order to keep our precious and only world inhabitable for the generations to come.

Do you agree?

Sad News: Fire in Parque Nacional El Palmar

El Palmar National Park is located in the province of Entre Rios, Argentina.

At the time I’m writing this post a big fire is burning thousands of “Yatay” palm trees. Firefighters are working there.

Strong winds are making things harder. Let’s hope that the fire extinguishes soon.

Update: Thanks to heavy rain this morning the fire is over. But almost 20% of the NP was affected and is presumed to be initiated by humans.

Palmera Yatay

Parque Nacional El Palmar, Provincia de Entre Rios, Argentina

More images of the park here:

Old Secret New

Perhaps in the “old” film days the only way to accomplish an image like this in-camera was by using some kind of filters. The great Galen Rowell  (1940-2002) mastered the technique and even designed his own breed of such tools. The company Singh Ray implemented them based on his input and offers a fine lineup of specialized filters (GR graduated neutral density filters). Same old story.

But people keep asking and complaining about this way of creating landscape/nature images. Many, many of them, even today think that this is only by the means of “xxxx” software tool.  True and false.

Many beautiful slides were created this way without turning on the computer. Today, with digital capture replacing silver halide, photography introduces new tools but many former tricks are still around. The same RAW files from digital cameras can be processed in different ways and combining the results in image editing programs. Comfortably in your desk you apply the filters obtaining almost the same results than before. In fact, Ansel Adams did the same, in the lab with chemicals and the very same technique.

The question is: Is this photography or digital artistry ? Depending on how it’s done, It’s 100% pure photography. No elements added nor removed. No color replaced artificially. No crimson sky added from another day or place. No rearrangement of objects.  No alteration of “reality”. Just the truth, the real thing, interpreted by a subjective fact. A capture device.

The scene was there, captured and prepared to provide the amazing experience of the witness, in this case, the photographer in the field.

More images from Patagonia here:

© 2010 Javier Etcheverry. All Rights Reserved.

Glaciar Perito Moreno at Sunset