Old friends Scott and Marlene visited the TOP Sanctuary in the Finger Lakes this lovely weekend, and brought with them perfect October weather. They've left; they're out on the Bluff bicycling now.
We talked all night and all morning, and (as always happens, not just with them) I learned things. Their youngest daughter is nomadic in South America right now with her Chilean boyfriend, and on a meetup with her, I think it was, they visited the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. Salar is Spanish for salt flats, and Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flats in the world, visible from space.
They said they were driven out into the middle of the more than 4,000-square-mile immensity, and proceeded to do what most people do once the wonder of the landscape wears off...namely, fool around with photography.
The lack of perspective cues in the landscape make it easy to play around with scale.
Cf. "White Men Can't Jump"—or white people in this instance, Scott said that they were only a few inches above the salt in this picture, but putting the camera very low makes it look like they fell out of a plane.
The Salar is high in the Andes at an elevation of 12,000 feet.
I'd never heard of these practices (or the place) before, but Marlene says lots of people get into it. Their daughter Abby used her Olympus Stylus 1 to take the photos.
Scott says of the Olympus, "it has turned out to be an excellent travel camera, compact, robust, relatively unobtrusive, and the EVF is handy where the sun so often shines while the 10.7x zoom has allowed her to take some good wildlife photos (something the 2.9x zoom on my Sony RX100 III is useless for). It's not as good in low light, but that was a trade-off for the rest.
"One other reason to visit that area of Bolivia are the photogenic flamingos hanging around, by the thousands, in the shallow, salty lakes of the Alto Plano, up thirteen, fourteen and fifteen thousand feet above sea level."
After it rains, the Salar becomes a giant mirror, as seen in this shot by someone else.
Looks like fun, doesn't it? I need to stop thinking of ideas for things I'd try. I'm not in Bolivia.
(Thanks to Scott and Marlene)
P.S. Oh, and speaking of old Woody Harrelson vehicles, Scott said that compared to big sites like dpreview, TOP is "like Cheers," to which Marlene added that I'm Sam. Funny. Do we have any readers named Norm, Cliff, or Carla?
"Open Mike" is the whatever's-happening Sunday sometimes-off-topic page of TOP.
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Featured Comments from:
Norm Nicholson: "Yes, Sam, I'm a regular and a Norm, and people have told me that I remind them of Norm. But, I don't think I'm as warm and fuzzy as Norm."
Mike replies: Well, I have to say it: NORM!