Thursday, October 22, 2009

Colorless Santiago? You stand corrected.

When I made the leap to digital SLR, I went, as many people do, to B and H photo in Manhattan. It's a warren of a store, with signs and free candy and decent public bathrooms and a guy working the security booth with a leg with enough metal in it to set off a metal detector in every nation under the sun (he told me he'd been shot, believe me, I had not asked).

At some point or another, I settled on Nikon. Maybe because my dad had had one, maybe because I like the word. Or maybe, just maybe, because they were having a sale on my soon-to-be-discontinued camera body. So I'm a Nikonista, and so I shall stay, unless somewhere along the way I am gifted many many cash dollas, in which case maybe I'd change to Canon (or even Cannon, because who doesn't like some high-percale cotton sheets?).

Ahem. So there I was in the store, thinking about a fairly hefty purchase, one that made my feet grow roots to the spot, and my hands protectively clutch my credit card (REI, get 1% dividend back at the store!), unensconced in a wallet because I don't carry one and no one has yet convinced me of the benefits of carrying one, not even by giving me one as a gift, don't bother.

And my Dominican-American helper dude, the one that was welcoming me to release great sums of money into the universe, where they would be compensated by the occasional ooh or aah over a pretty picture, first gave me a strange compliment, intimating that "we" (Latin Americans, of which I am not) have a different way of thinking than our gringo brethren). And then he told me that though he'd photographed South America from stem to stern, Chile left him flat.

"Le falta color" (It lacks color) he said.

And I bought the camera anyway, because I am a greedy capitalist. And then I took pictures, and took some more, occassionally remembering this self-proclaimed arbiter of the truth on color. Chileans don't (generally) dance the samba or wear flowers behind their ears. But when you get together a class of first year architecture students from the Universidad de Las Americas, oh, the colors they'll let fly!

Hope you enjoy the view. I know Margaret and I did.

more kites
The view when we first got to the park

hexagonal kite
at the starting gate

in action
action shot

group shot
group shot

And then, just because he's colorful, and who doesn't like a quick look at a gravity-defying child whose own mother would probably faint into the arms of the nearest passerby if she knew what her kid was up to at the skate park, I present this little/big kid at one of my favorite photo haunts, Parque de Los Reyes, at the northern edge of Barrio Brasil.

sheer force

You want color? Yeah. We've got that.

7 comments:

Margaret said...

We've got color; we just don't give it up quite as freely as other Latino countries do. Although I think that the abundance of color is directly proportionate to the proximity to the equator... and here at the ends of the Earth, we're not all that big on using it to attract attention... unless of course it's with one of those beautiful kites!

mandiwoodruff.wordpress.com said...

Oooh..Can't lie. I'm like a 5-year-old set before a box of 64 color crayons when I see photos like that. I think the color in Santiago is creeping out with spring and thank goodness, because winter about did me in. And I was only here for half of it!

I haven't made it to the skate park yet, but I intend to soon. Thanks for sharing the pretty!

Still LIfe in South America said...

I think you all need more graffiti.

Those kites are gorgeous. Nice work!

Fly Girl said...

That skateboarder shot is awesome. You know I'm a huge fan of color and while those vibrant kites are colorful indeed, I couldn't help noticing that most of the people have on neutral colored clothes. Walking aroud Santiago everyday without the distractions of kites, I think I'd sorely miss the Latin American color that I'm used to.

Katie said...

Amazing shots, as always. I particularly like the skateboarder that you captured in mid-air!

I feel your pain about parting with the cash to buy a DSLR. That's why yours truly still has a point-and-shoot... :(

Richard said...

I'm weighing in on the skateboarder shot here too. It's stunning. I can't stop wondering to myself whether he landed safely (I am trying to work out how he could possibly not come unstuck from that position)?

Chester Cool said...

I like the kites, their very colorful and seeing it reminds me of my childhood days. I used to do things like those on nearby parks.