Vilcanota Mountain Range

Shot in July 2008, this movie was back then, my first experiment on mixing motion with digital still photography. and much has changed since then.

It’s a visual story of a climbing expedition to the beautiful Vilcanota Mountain Range in South Eastern Peru.

Led by spanish mountain guide Pere Vilarasau Alsina and featuring Dante Alegria (Argentina), Manuela Mendez (Chile) and María Paz Ibarra (Chile) as climbers, the North Face sponsored expedition traveled to picturesque scenarios in the beautiful mountain range.

Back in camp with all the gear used to shoot the Vilcanota North Face pictures.

It was a moment of firsts:

  • First time I opened and used a non linear editing software (Final Cut Pro)
  • First time editing visual effects (earth spinning and titles) in Adobe After Effects
  • First time editing audio and thinking of soundtrack
  • First time I heard the word Codec!
  • First time I understood moving pictures was a whole other deal and I was totally hooked into it…

As it probably happens a lot, looking back at what I did 4 years ago I’d change almost everything but the best pictures and main music of the soundtrack but then, let time be time, let learning be learning and evolution be what it is: a sneak peek into the unknown future.

Oh BTW, how I love my portable power sys!

Pre-conceived Shots

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As I rappelled down the cliff, the scene began to shape itself in front of my eyes. Clouds, coming in from the south, gave a mystery touch to the landscape and contrast between light and shadow, painted lines, movement and grace into it. Hanging from a fixed rope, just as light was beginning to fade, I could see Tom and Rosita coming closer, rapidly climbing the route’s last stretch.

He had to come really close so we could get the wide-angle shot we needed and time was running out. My fixed line offered me very limited movement freedom so all I could do was stay there and wait and suddenly, just like magic and in perfect timing, each piece of the puzzle took it’s place. Tom got there just right, we co-ordinated things, clouds cleared the vision of the col. and light was, what can I say? Just perfect…!

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Photography, Vision and Ethics

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What is more real: a picture that doesn’t communicate, does not tell the story, or a carefully thought shot, that clearly conveys what you saw or felt in a given moment?

Where is the thin line that separates a worked shot from faking a whole scene?

Photography that communicates visions, feelings and the vivid experience of the world around us is what I believe in. My ethical commitment is showing people a universe that is as real as the world out there to be seen.

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