Boat expedition possibly on Lake Titicaca, Peru, c1940s

Boat expedition possibly on Lake Titicaca, Peru, c1940s, photo by Sean Rocha

I know little about this photograph but I am captivated by it, in large part because of the unusual framing which moves the human subjects to the perimeter in favor of this great, textured expanse of water.  I found the photograph at an open-air market in Lima, Peru — where I also found these amazing portraits I wrote about previously — so I assume the boat expedition depicted took place in Peru; to judge from the structures in the background, it is likely to be at the famous ‘floating islands‘ made entirely of reeds in Lake Titicaca on the border with Bolivia.  The dating to the 1940s is a complete guess based on the clothes; certainly, it is not nearly as old as the portraits I found with it, which had a handwritten date of 1916.  This photograph was probably taken by someone standing in a boat so it is hard to know how much of the composition was deliberate but the angles of the boats, the glimpse of the woman with the umbrella before she slips out of frame and, especially, the strong black oar above the water create a nearly perfect visual narrative.

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One Response to “Boat expedition possibly on Lake Titicaca, Peru, c1940s”

  1. […] just posted a fascinating photograph I found in a flea market in Lima, Peru on an earlier trip to South America, I can’t resist […]

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