Feature Week 29
We have been looking forward to visite Salinas Grandes, the great Salt planes in the north of Argentina near Tilcara in the Jujuy province on the road to Chili. On our way from Salta to Tilcara, where we were going to spent our night, the detour to the salt lake fitted our plan perfectly. It was a left turn at Purmamarca and from there it was a curvy N52 road to the salt lake. The route was incredible through wonderful mountainous landscapes. After we had reached the top it was all downhill until the lake. The road was one long straight line (see "Road" picture below). In de distance we noticed a traffic jam which was quite unexpected due to the small amount of cars and trucks we encountered. After I took the "Road" picture and drove towards the lake we were stuck.... And there was no movement at all. We parked behind the truck with the watertank and waited. Out of boredom we walked around the scenery as I noticed the truck from it's right side. It reminded me of a Wes Anderson scene, not a particular one but it could have been scene directed by him. The composition felt relaxing and serene. My girlfriend walked behind the truck from left to right as I took this picture, see is in the picture behind the back tire of the truck.
After waiting for half an hour we turned the car around and headed to wards Tilcara for our hotel. We were to return a couple of days later. On our way back up the mountain a cloud hung close to the road (see "Cloud" picture below).
Later we learned there was a strike going on on the road over the salt lake by local salt farmers against Canadian lithium mining
which was going to ruin the indigenous community's business and therefor the farmers destroyed part of the road. Salta and Jujuy provinces have granted mining rights to dozens of Canadian companies. The thing is, this road is the only road between this part of Argentina and Chili so there were a lot of trucks stuck in the traffic jam for quite a long time. It wasn't the first time the farmers were holding up traffic for their case, so we were told.
Although we didn't succeed reaching the salt lake, we did manage to get some great shots. I love the way this picture turned out. Because of the composition it is clear the truck is standing still and not moving. The clouds have nice shapes and the landscape is not distracting at all. The truck reminds me of a toy truck I had we I was a small boy. The low position of the camera and composition with huge portion of sky in the top part of the picture help to emphasise that feeling.
Location Tres Morros, Jujuy - Argentina
Details you can find in this picture
The driver of the truck seems okay with his situation. He just sits there as if he is modelling for this picture. I regret not asking him for his email address, I think he would have loved this picture. It would have been great if he would have had this picture hanging at his house somewhere in Argentina or Chili.
The white cabine, body and tank just give the right atmosphere to the picture. It's a gift when things just fall into place like this. It looks like a toy truck lost in the dessert with a toy truck driver, sitting there, calmly waiting to be push by a kid.
While we were waiting behind the truck in the traffic jam we got out of the car at some point to just walk around and check things out. The truck caught my eye so I was looking to find my position to get my composition. When I found it and positioned my self to take my picture my girlfriend walked from the car towards the front of the truck, but very slowly... So I took the chance to take the picture while see was behind the back tire. Knowing that give this picture a special meaning to me. Although this is a picture of a truck, it's also a picture with my girlfriend, secretly.
A light cloud at the sky. Like a brush stroke.on a piece of canvas. It has been highlighted by a yellow filter, which pops the blue a bit, not to overdramatic but it helps to define the clouds and helps the composition. At that time I didn't have the ND grade filters which could help to pull the sky. I'll do a piece on those filters another time.
This whole picture is about the composition (and the secret girlfriend) It's strong because it's simple, a truck in a landscape, it's strong because of the angle at which the photo was taken. The composition is calming because of the straight angles and symmetry. The composition shows a large portion of sky to emphasise strength.
Gear used for this shot
Camera Nikon F4s
Shutter speed 1/250s
Lens Nikkor 28mm f/2.4 AF-D
Film Kodak T-MAX 100
Developer Ilford DD-X
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