“Adventskalender” December 23rd

December 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Postosi, Bolivia, September 2010, © Daniel Hofer


“Adventskalender” December 6th

December 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

Marc Antonio, Potosi, Bolivia, October 2010, © Daniel Hofer

The donut thing… this small anecdote began when I read an interview with photographer Alec Soth (who, btw, has a relatively new website). Jörg Colberg asked Alec Soth:

“Something that we talked about before is how to approach people for portraits. How do you go about this? In particular, if you are interested in doing nude work?”

Soth answered:

It isn’t too complicated. I drive around. I sit in donut shops. Walk malls. I look at people. Once in awhile someone catches my eye. Why? It is a hard thing to describe, but I think it is similar to the feeling you get when you see, you know, the attractive person across a crowded bar. Why is that person attractive to you? Some of it is culture, some of it is your own upbringing, etc. It is personal. I’m kind of tuned into this attraction. And when I feel it I approach the person. It is scary. And because it isn’t ‘normal’ it is probably scarier than approaching the person across the bar. The nudes are done in much the same way. But of course there is a lot more explanation and negotiation before we take the pictures.”

I very much like his answer, because somehow that answer gives me hope. His words say to me: take it easy, do what you have to do, and wait if waiting feels right. Something is gonna happen. And when that happens, use your chance! And everybody knows that strange, uncomfortable feeling when you would like to take a portrait of somebody but you are too shy to ask the person. Good to know that people like Soth feel the same way – and that everybody can possibly find a way to deal with those situations.

So everytime I see a donut (shop) I think of Soth and what he said, and when I saw Marc Antonio at a market in Potosi I knew I had to take a picture of him, just for Soth’s sake. Marc Antionio’s sister runs a pastry shop, and she is the first and only one who produces american style donuts in Potosi. Marc Antonio delivers the donuts and other pastry stuff to various street vendors, they are sold for about 0,45 Dollars. Delicious investment.



“Adventskalender” December 5th

December 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ice cream vendor in Potosi, Bolivia, September 2010, © Daniel Hofer

Travelling countries like Bolivia isn’t fun when it comes to food like ice cream: sometimes you want to have some so badly, but especially ice cream can make you seriously sick (e.g. salmenella). Local people don’t care, or they are used to certain bacteria – you find ice cream vendors at every bigger place.

“Adventskalender” December 4th

December 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Mrs. Lourdes Condori, Potosi, Bolivia, September 2010  © Daniel Hofer

Even people that have never visited Bolivia might have some cliché “images” of Bolivia -in their mind, e.g. indigenous women wearing traditional clothes and derbies. Because of that, I found it quite hard to portray these women (you know what I mean?). The fact that most bolivian women either denied when I asked them to take their portrait, or wanted to have money for it, made it even more difficult. Finally, Mrs. Condori was one of the very few women I photographed during my trip.


“Adventskalender” December 3rd

December 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Jose Jesus Holarache, Lama herdsman, photographed in front of the Cerro Rico.
Potosi, Bolivia, September 2010.

I met Jose after a long day which I spent hiking in the surrounding mountains of Potosi. When I remember correctly, Jose owns around 150 Lamas. He was really excited when I took portraits of him and his dogs (unfortunately, all the lamas where elsewhere). As a “gift” I shot some polaroids of him which a gave him directly, and that made him really happy.

“Adventskalender” December 2nd

December 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

Photographed on the mountain “Cerro Rico”, Potosi, Bolivia, September 2010

The mountain “Cerro Rico” has been one of the most important sources for silver and many other minerals and metals since the 16th century. Today, there are still dozens of small mines, where miners work under extremely dangerous conditions. But the hard labour is paid relatively well, miners earn, depending on the world market prices of the raw material they actually mine, between 100-200 Dollar per month. These two miners work in the mine “Cumbre II” and where mining zinc.

Photographic “Adventskalender” starts today, December 1st

December 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

In Germany we have a tradition from which I don’t know if it exists in other contries as well: there is a specific “Adventskalender“, a calendar that goes from the 1st of December until the 24th, and every day there is a gift. Most of these advent calenders are made for kids nowadays, with some chocolate or other sweets every day. But there are various forms, e.g. my mom always had a “chain” with 24 small bags, one for me and one for my brother, each signed with the number of the day and filled with nice tiny gifts. Like that, waiting for christmas eve was easier!

So as a good start into cold, pre-christmas days in December, I thought it would be nice to make a photographic advent calendar. So from now on, every day until christmas there will be a new picture from my last stay in Bolivia online. These pictures are rough scans without any postproduction, and won’t necessarily be part of my later edit. Just see them as snapshots from Bolivia, trip # 1 !

When possible, I’ll drop a line about the picture. The first “Adventskalender” photograph was taken in Potosi, Bolivia, in September 2010. It shows a soccer stadium (the Bolivians as well as their president Evo Morales are crazy about soccer!!), with a green pitch that looks fairly strange in the environment of the Bolivian Altiplano which is about 3500 meters high and extremely dry. The tower on the right houses a restaurant.

Please click the photograph for a larger view.

Potosi, Bolivia, September 2010, © Daniel Hofer

Spread the word about this photographic calendar and enjoy!

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