Continuing with my little street series from Santiago, I'll post this one from the neighborhood called La Vega.
We were warned by a couple of locals in Santiago to NOT venture into the area - so what do we do? of course we walk to La Vega!! :)
La Vega was certainly not going to be mistaken for Las Vegas!
La Vega opened our eyes to a whole new Santiago.
I think its important to get out of the high rise areas of major cities, to see how locals really live.
La Vega did just that.
Looking at the crusted walls in this photo gives you an idea of the surroundings. It was really the only time during our trip that we felt unsafe, and felt "watched" by others. (actually, there were also a few areas in Lima Peru as well)
We had one little mishap here dealing with 2 local men who had spotted us from afar - they had their eye on us and were about to 'make their move'. We could tell they were scanning the nearby surroundings for police officers, there were none - just what they wanted.
Tosca and I looked at each other, no words we spoken between us, we knew these two men were planning something bad for us, so we high tailed it out of that small area quickly. Maybe we stayed in La Vega a bit too long, and we were drawing unwanted attention to ourselves.
But we did get some photos before we left. This man in the photo was certainly one of the finer dressed gentlemen, not the norm of what we encountered in La Vega. Perhaps subconsciously I felt more comfortable photographing him than some of the other locals here.
I remember the area was full of fallen-over large garbage bins, dogs eating the garbage, the smell was terrible, the architecture falling apart and abandoned, there was a noticeable disorganization of the streets and stores, cars parked or left for ruin in the middle of the streets etc....and of course no tourists - except us.
thanks for looking
Critiques | Translate
jjcordier (67226) 2013-08-14 22:54
Tu ne sembles pas avoir été très rassuré lors de ta promenade photographique ici. En tout cas, tu en as ramené d'intéressantes photos comme celle que tu nous présentes. L'homme n'est peut-être pas très "couleur locale" mais il a l'avantage d'avoir un blouson jaune!
Graal (92166) 2013-08-15 0:03
interesting street reportage from Chile's town and informations in note. Good presentation of ugly the fragment with dirty walls. Well done photo.
Have a nice day.
timecapturer (37068) 2013-08-15 2:50
top marks for bravery in venturing into a No-Go area. I think this shot aptly sums up the reason why it was considered a tad dangerous. The image sums up the character of an area that most big cities have, sounds like you had a lucky escape too!
Kugart (1772) 2013-08-15 3:18
Full marks for bravery. Very interesting note and demonstrates the length you will go to to get a class shot which this is. Excellent colour lighting and so sharp. Well worth the risk but I'm sure you were glad to get out of there. Well done and thanks.
Sergiom (45441) 2013-08-15 5:02
J'aime beaucoup la texture de ces murs qui en auraient beaucoup à raconter si ils pouvaient parler. Je trouve le personnage et son chien très important dans cette composition et leur position très anonyme est appréciée.
ikeharel (44023) 2013-08-15 6:58
You have the guts, my friend, and what a brave photographer... all for a pic. from a place that almost got you in trouble.
Such an ordeal endured to show one of Chile notorious neighbourhood's. The outcome is a good photo, convey a message about the place for future travellers.
My opinion that one must keep away from places alike, but admire your experience.
holmertz (31302) 2013-08-15 7:26
Getting off the tourist track is a must for me too, but there are limits to the risks I will take. Sometimes even "safe" areas can be dangerous. I went for a walk in downtown Abidjan, Ivory Coast, one Sunday morning at around 11 AM and soon realized that all decent people were in church. I was alone in the streets with the bad guys, who followed me with their evil eyes. One guy kept following me for several blocks and just as I was about to get mugged I saw a taxi approaching, so I ran into the street and waved at it and managed to get away. In johannesburg, on the other hand, I had no escape...
About this photo :-) it's quite interesting but doesn't look that bad, like the average street in extremely safe Calcutta. (Honestly.) But graffiti, cracked walls and faded paint is always interesting to watch.
marabu61 (5867) 2013-08-15 11:10
You two are just plain crazy aren't you? If somebody tells me to stay out of an area, I stay out especially when I am lugging a big camera around with me ...
But then of course these ventures make for the best documentory shots that shows us the other reality of a big city as Santiago. It does look rather derelict indeed. The big 198 is a real eye catcher in this one.
have a great evening
Hansaphotos (6071) 2013-08-15 13:31
A photo that conveys very well the abandoned character of this area. I guess every city of a certain size has its own area like this one. Love the abandoned feel and the inclusion of the man and dog. Lots of interesting details. I`m glad you visited this area and that you manage to catch some photos. Great job! TFS.
Have a nice evening.
nikkitta (8951) 2013-08-15 14:08
I understand so well what you tell in your note, I always go to places where I must said to myself ,never again, never again and keep going
A signal in Latin America of not sure places are free dogs and graffiti, both in your capture
Like the capture because its plenty of life and local color, what most of tourist search and you obtained
limielski (2571) 2013-08-15 17:23
An nteresting note and short story with happy end :-)
A very nice picture of this dangerous area - well done reportage shot
Warm regards, Les
Indrasish (2351) 2013-08-15 18:34
Excellent street reportage.. Great shot.. Excellent composition and good timing.. Superb image quality too.. Very well done.. It looks like our North Kolkata, India..
an informative note too..
Good morning from India and wish you all the best..
Royaldevon (21463) 2013-08-15 23:39
Thank you for your kind words and critique, Craig.
When I look at the stark details of your shot, with its graffiti and age-worn buildings, I cannot help but make comparisons with my home and feel almost humbled by my comparative luxury. This really hits you between the eyes! Your shot is very well composed, with a guiding, angled aspect and the figure, strongly positioned, leading the way. The sharp, textural details are superbly gathered and the colours nicely saturated.
Have a great day,
worldcitizen (5619) 2013-08-16 10:31
Here you go again Craig...tempting fate in the back alleys of South America!
I like all of the colors, wires, and peeling paint. This scene on its own actually doesn't look overly seedy to me! But I'm sure that once you zoom out and get the complete picture it's another story. Be careful out there!!
Periko (1385) 2013-08-16 15:37
This is not exactly a tourist place but shows a real, everyday facet of the city, of any city.
I guess that you met the mounted police . I saw how the horses left their waste on the street, in 2004.
kato (9532) 2013-08-16 22:47
You're capturing well this street by a good angle and excellent toe/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see cracked walls, scribble and faded paint. It seems to a good place for getting to know the atmosphere of this town, but it is better to approach neither a back lane nor the slums in the land which is not known for safety, in my opinion.
annjackman (15533) 2013-08-16 23:02
I read your note with interest as we have sometimes wandered into areas that we shouldn't in various parts of the world. However, the only time we got into difficulties was when some cameras and lenses were stolen from our guide's vehicle in Namibia while we walked in a market.
The faded colours on the detriorating walls are still attractive and makes me wonder how good they must have looked when freshly painted. I always enjoy people (and dogs) in this type of picture. Excellent street photography.
Kind Regards, Ann
willperrett (4075) 2013-08-17 6:04
It certainly looks a dodgy area. The lengths some people will go to get the picture! Street photography; photo-journalism: not sure what to call it, but it is a powerful vision of deprivation and lawlessness. And I felt that before I read your note.
krzychu30 (12689) 2013-08-17 10:22
the photo has really great,unique mood!Devastated facades enhance well this quite scary feel you had while exploring this bad area.But I can only tell-the risk was definitely worth!
Have a nice weekend
fabbs99 (11126) 2013-08-17 23:46
Great shot with excellent sharpness.The DOF, saturation and exposure were managed perfectly. Great work! TFS.TFS.
emka (64144) 2013-08-18 10:31
Hi craig, What a story! And what attracted you there_ I suppose you like the name La Vega. Did you expected something like Las Vegas? Vega means plain in Spanish and it is very popular name. This is quite strange for me because the people we met in Chile were all very friendly. But everywhere there are bad districts. Luckily you are still alive :0 and with cameras. So better not to risk too much. Now I realize that I could guide to Praga - the district on the right side of Vistula (I live there). it could be interesting to you, the people living on the left side rarely (or never) go there.
npecanhuk (56368) 2013-08-18 12:23
We need people like you and Tosca to go to those places I wouldn't dare going (specially with my camera)!!! LOL
Many details in such a small part of that neighborhood that really tell us a lot about it!
I really like it!
TFS - congrats,
cdmonson (4358) 2013-08-18 16:42
If this is La Vega in Puente Alto (near the highway just off Domingo Tocornal), you were pretty close to one of the truly phenomenal poor areas of Santiago: Chiloe. I used to live there in the early 2000s. Essentially it's from Eyzaguirre in the north to the highway in the south, and from the highway in the east to Santa Rosa to the west, but the area along Avenida Chiloe and west of there is probably the most colorful. (And by colorful, I mean an area you wouldn't want to visit after dark, especially not with a nice camera). There's a small hill to the east that gives a panoramic overview of the neighborhood: row upon row upon row (stretching for nearly two miles) of what Chileans call the "blocks," but what most North Americans would call the projects. It's a truly awesome sight, both for the sheer number of people jammed into the area and the level of poverty and desperation. Of course, some areas are worse than others, but it's all beyond the comprehension of most North Americans.
But I digress. Kudos for getting beyond the tourist zones and seeing the real Santiago. I love the people and the soul of the poorer parts of the city. (I spent two of my happiest years in Santiago). This shot captures the real Chile. Thanks for sharing.
Cricri (92185) 2013-08-19 9:29
Quel note, pas très rassurant de visiter cette région, mais la curiosité a été la plus forte :-) une poussée d'adrénaline mais dont tu a su capturer une superbe photo de cet endroit pas fréquentable, d'ailleurs l'image en dit long.....
abmdsudi (32505) 2013-08-22 8:20
This is indeed an appealing image of dilapidation of this run down facade, somewhat neglected with its years of peeling paint revealing it's age old maturity. But I loved the intricate details, mix of colors, grittiness etc and the setting as it seems to blend nicely with the sole fig. Obviously it possesses a certain rustic charm and character that I find very enchanting because there is always something compelling about neglected buildings. Thks for sharing your adv story glad you are safe and sound Craig!! Congrats
jcpix (6544) 2013-08-28 19:15
You're a daredevil Craig...but when it pays off, it's hard to argue! :) You're story of being warned makes me think of the line from Ghostbusters " If someone asks you if you're a God, you say YES!" :) Don't question it, just take their word. lol
Don't you just love these old, weathered and worn exteriors...all rusted out or peeling away? There's so much appeal in the textures and the true conditions of a location or subject. Glad you got out of there without any problems, and were able to come away with this shot. As much as I enjoy the high profile attractions, I would prefer to wander the 'off the beaten track" streets for these kinds of opportunities. Thanks for braving the conditions to bring us this peek into the neighborhood.
Cheers from Phoenix,