Thailand, Bangkok, November 1993
The religious ceremony was underway when I entered the Emerald Buddha Temple, near the Great Palace. Afraid to disturb the ritual I sat on the floor near a group of monks. The temptation to take some photos overcame my decorum. This one was taken when an inattentive and noisy tourist provoked angry looks from the monks. In an instant tranquility again prevailed.
Thailand, Mae Aw, November 1993
North of Mae Hong Song, right on the border between Thailand and Myanmar, near Mae Aw, we can find the refugee camp of the giraffe women tribe. In this tribe, feminine beauty is related to the neck length. Since early childhood girls start wearing metal rings around the neck in order to stretch it. In adulthood, women are forced to wear them permanently to avoid cervical fractures.
Iceland, Vatnajokull Glacier, August 1994
Our stop to eat and drink some water lasted only 20 minutes. Discreetly, I hung back, while the group restarted the trekking, because I wanted to photograph the long row of figures. I must confess that I hid behind some rocks. After taking the shots, I tried rejoining the group as quickly as possible but was found out by the guide. The reprehension I received was somewhat softened when I explained that in spite of being a psychiatrist I still had some sense and I had followed scrupulously the footprints left by the group on the snow, avoiding the possible crevasses. Peace was restored after I promised that I wouldn’t repeat my ‘stunt’.
Iceland, Strokkur Geyser, August 1994
The most famous geyser in Iceland shoots a hot water jet, more than 30 meters high, every 3 minutes. The sky was threatening rain and I decided to keep back a little to get a different perspective before the storm broke. Muttering about the weather unpredictability I went near another small geyser just as the sun appeared and Strokkur blew mightily. I only had time to shoot one photo.
Jordan, Dhiban, April 1995
After visiting Madaba and its famous mosaics we drove to the small village of Dihban. The sun at its zenith forced the few visible inhabitants to seek shelter in the shadow. Our presence aroused the local curiosity and while photographing a carved wood door I felt I was being intensely watched. I turned around and surprised a boy trying to hide behind a pillar. In the background, one of the village elders was coming over to check out what was happening.
Jordan, Petra, April 1995
Petra, the city of Nabateans is a constant surprise. For two days I toured most of the attractions the tourist guides suggested. Before leaving Petra I decided to step away from the crowded areas and surrender to the beauty of the textures of the rocks surrounding these tombs. It was the best farewell.
Chile, Moon Valley, Atacama, November 1995
The Atacama Desert Valley has a unique ambiance. Everyday, the place to be to watch the sunset is the high area of the Moon Valley. The climb to the top of the dunes is harder than we thought. The first visitors settle down comfortably at the ridge. Later, when the sun goes down, people crowd the dune but I prefer to climb a little further and watch both shows.
Chile, Iquique, November 1995
Known by the giant sand dunes that surround it, Iquique had a surprise in store for us: the town festival was happening. The audience crowded the stage where the artists performed. I managed to go backstage where I found a group of children, their bones showing. Intensely focused in their roles, they remained indifferent when I took some photos.
Philippines, Manila, December 1996
After visiting Chinatown we went back on foot to the center. From an overpass we saw this slum embracing the railway. People lived literally between the rails and life went on as if the railway was deactivated. It wasn’t. This was an apologetically vision of one of Manila’s degraded areas.
Philippines, El Nido, Palawan Island, December 1996.
Considered as one of the Philippine’s last wild frontiers, Palawan Island has hidden treasures only revealed to those who take the trouble of straying from the ordinary tour circuits. At the northern tip of this island, El Nido village is the gateway to a string small islands that make up Bacuit archipelago. By boat, one can discover heavenly places with impossibly colored waters. Magical places known only by the local fishermen.
Namibia, Sea Dunes, Namib-Naukluft Park, October 1997
The day before, in the coastal town of Swakopmund, we had agreed that for this 4 hour desert flyover the door of the small plane would be removed, to facilitate photography. It was the right decision: I was dazzled by the unexpected shapes and velvety textures of the sand dunes. For those traveling on the back seats it was a bad decision not to bring warm clothes as it was really cold in the cockpit.
Namibia, Namib Naukluft Park, October 1997
On the way to Mwisho camp and its luxury tents our expectations were very high as the landscape was superb and on the next morning we would go ballooning! The road meandered through a yellowish landscape. We stopped to take some photos. I insisted that I needed a car passing by to compose the picture. We had to wait for half an hour for one to come by. My friends were beginning to despair. But worst happened during the night: the wind began blowing strongly and we had to cancel the balloon flight and postpone our visit to the desert. We only had our wish fulfilled ten days later.