A few weeks back I was delighted to have been asked by the Foro de Fotógrafos to speak and run a workshop at their annual convention in Córdoba, Argentina. Foro de Fotógrafos (FDF) is a photographic educational convention set up specifically for Spanish speaking photographers. This was, in fact, my second event with FDF as I had also been a tutor at their convention in Seville, Spain last November.
Whilst these trips are often very busy and hard work, I’m also conscience that I shall never loose sight of the fact that I’m extremely lucky and privileged to be asked to present my work and talk about my style in various places across the world.
For me, though I was speaking and tutoring, I also had a chance to spend time with some amazing photographers, mostly from Latin America. Many of whom I’ve met “on-line” but it was the first time I could actually meet , and more importantly sit and listen to, them. The other photographers were simply awe inspiring for me and I brought back a lot of new found knowledge and inspiration. As well as many friends.
My outbound trip took me from Malmesbury to Heathrow, then onto Buenos Aires. There, a bus journey to the next airport, a delayed flight and a lot of waiting saw me finally arrive at my destination in Córdoba, some 36 hours after I left home.
I spent the best part of a week in this bustling student city in the north of Argentina, before heading back down to Buenos Aires for a few days sightseeing before the returning home.
All of my images below were shot on my beloved Fujifilm X100T with the WCL attached. Pretty much, I don’t travel with anything else these days.
I’m not a huge fan of flying. I mean, I do it. I do it quite a lot these days I suppose but I’d be far happier if you could just have some kind of injection and get stacked in a crate the hold and brought around when you get there. Hey ho. In fairness, all the flights were great in terms of space, meals and entertainment etc. It was interesting flying over Northern Brazil and seeing all of the forest culling stations. There are a lot of them…which I guess is quite worrying.
Even though rugby is my sporting passion (in fact, the last time I was in Buenos Aires was ten years ago when Wales were playing Argentina at The Velesz Sarsfield Stadium), I’m a huge football fan too. If you are a football supporter and find yourself in Buenos Aires, it would be criminal not to visit the famous ground of The Boca Juniors Football Club: La Bombonera. I didn’t get to go into the stadium sadly, but whilst the other tourists were taking “selfies” I had a little wander around the neighbourhood where you get this incredible sense of emotional love and support for the team, and especially one player; Diego Armando Maradona Franco who seems so synonymous with the area.
The entire district is decked out in the yellow and blue colours of La Boca. I did not know, until my trip there, that these colours are based on the colours of the Swedish Flag based on the fact that the first boat to dock in the port at La Boca was from Sweden.
Buenos Aires is a huge city, with lots of cultural diversification and at that time of the year (April) a beautiful climate (well, for blokes from Wales like me). Although stereotypically a tourist feature, the ‘Cementerio de la Recoleta‘ was somewhere that I was keen to visit. According to Wikipedia, it is a cemetery located in the Recoleta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It contains the graves of notable people, including Eva Perón, presidents of Argentina, Nobel Prize winners, the founder of the Argentine Navy and a granddaughter of Napoleon. In 2011, the BBC hailed it as one of the world’s best cemeteries, and in 2013, CNN listed it among the 10 most beautiful cemeteries in the world. I concur.
I’m going to publish a separate story about my time at the cemetery as it was quite a profound time for me. I took a walk from my hotel in Down town Buenos Aires through the business district and into the Recoleta neighbourhood on my final day. I wanted to give myself a good deal of time there as it’s a huge area and, I was told, quite easy to get lost in (I was told correctly!).
There are some tombs, like the ones of Eva Perón (Evita) that are virtual shrines and daubed with flowers. Then there are others, that are perhaps hundreds of years old that have fallen into disrepair. It’s a hugely contrasting place, and sometimes I had to keep my emotions in check a little.
Being able to peer into some of the tombs through the glass filled apertures can bring a great sense of self-mortality awareness.
The real purpose of my time in Argentina, of course, was to run a workshop and talk at the convention. I had a two hour stage session on the Thursday, and a whole day workshop on the Friday. Some lovely images capture by Malvina Battison throughout the week;
And finally, my favourite picture from the whole trip – my new friends formed at my workshop of the my last day in Córdoba. I really do hope to visit again. Its a bountiful place, with beautiful and friendly people.
You can check out my UK based Photography Workshops which cover the business elements of Wedding Photography as well as Fujifilm X-Series based workshops and some are listed below:
I’m truly grateful to Rudy Arpia and the whole FDF team for inviting me out to Argentina and I really did make some life long new friends on the way.