The Streets Of Valparaiso

This Article Contains A Large Number Of Images and A Video

On Sunday, February 23, 2020 I visited one of the most colorful cities in the world for the fifth time: Valparaiso, Chile. I had just returned from an amazing trip to Antarctica with Michael Durr, Video Producer for PhotoPXL. On my previous trips to Valpo (as it is called by many), I took a ton of great images, and on each trip I became more enamored with the city.

The Streets Of Valparaiso Video

Valpo is a city of wall art. I don’t know of any other city like it. I used to mischaracterize it by saying it’s all graffiti, but that was wrong; It’s wall art, where artists from all over Chile come to adorn the city walls with their work. 

The color, texture, and styles of art are just brilliant. Each artist tells a story. Much of the art on this trip was political in nature, as Chile is going through a long period of governmental protests. All over Chile, citizens are demonstrating and protesting a number of things in regards to the government and the way it is treating its citizens. Buildings are boarded up, and there is a heavy police presence.

Lucky for us, we were visiting the city on a holiday, and it seemed like all of the protesters and government took the day off, so we felt safe and were able to enjoy our visit. The previous week when we were in Punta Arenas, we found just about every city center business boarded up with a large military and police presence. I understand that some of these protests can turn quite violent as the government troops crack down physically on the protesters. You can read more at this LINK regarding what’s happening there  and see images HERE. The protests we have experienced in America this past year pale in comparison.

I would advise you to find a reputable guide if you are interested in visiting any city outside of your own country. They will know how to keep you safe, as well as help you navigate to the best locations for what you want to see, and overcome the inevitable language barriers.

We were quite fortunate to have one of the finest guides I have ever had on this trip. He was recommended by a company I do business with in Chile. We were picked up by a driver at our hotel, and after an hour-and-a-half ride to Valpo, we hooked up with Jaime Droguett and his wife Marcela from Extremo Norte.  

Jamie and Marcella our guides
Jamie and Marcella our guides

I asked them to take us to the best street art in Valpo and they delivered, as you will see in the images accompanying this article. The key to getting many of these images was to arrive early, before the buses from Santiago filled with tourists could arrive. 

Our GPS Track for the day of wandering and shooting

As you can see from the GPS tracking map above, we covered a lot of ground. There was so much to photograph; everywhere you looked the sides of buildings were covered in art: sidewalks, stairs, and what I liked best, doorways. 

On a previous trip to Valpo with Art Wolfe, the both of us focused on finding abstract symbols in the art. There is so much in this city that a photographer could spend a few days there shooting, and not even put a dent in what is possible.

I now have what I think is enough material to make a book, which is a project I hope to begin soon. This city will always be a stopping point as I pass through Santiago on my way to Antarctica. A storekeeper recommended that you set a side a day in Santiago and a day in Valparaiso, as these are wonderful cities and a more than anything, a photographer’s delight.

I hope you enjoy the photographs below. There are lots of them, but they are so colorful, and I think very interesting. Hopefully in the not-so-distant future we will be able to travel freely again and get back to photographing in these great locations.

Michael Durr doing his video magic

Gear

I traveled light on this excursion. I brought the Sony a7r iv, and 24-70mm G-Master lens.  I put a few batteries in my pockets and I was set to go.  Havig visited this city before I knew I could cover what I needed to do with the 24-70mm range.  

Michael used the Sony a7iii and a 24-70mm lens also.  He carried a back pack (he’s young and has a strong back) with some additional lenses and things.

Other Articles From This Trip

Punta Arenas Cemetary

Antarctica 2020

Closing

Thank you Michael for the great video, and to Jamie and Marcela for a day of great memories.

More Valpo Images

Part One of the images are doorways.  doorways are the ultimate artist’s choice for their paintings.  The owners of a home give an artist permission to use their doorway as a canvas.  So please enjoy The Doorways of Valparaiso.

More Of The Streets Of Valparaiso


Kevin Raber
November 2020
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 47 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of pictures taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site as well as Rockhopper Workshops and other projects as well as teaching at my Gallery in Indianapolis.

Article Type: Columns, Videos, MISC

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