Bolivia – La Paz
MindStorm Photography Blog and Gallery
by Burt Johnson and Evelyn Johnson
1w ago
We have thought about going to Bolivia for many years. We kept putting it off due the extreme altitude of the region, ranging from a low 12,000 feet to as much as 18,000 feet in places. We were concerned that Burt’s health issues might present problems at such high altitudes. The doctors in our new Honolulu region were fantastic though. They discovered a blocked heart valve and then performed surgery to fix it in May 2022. With the new vigor resulting from that surgery, we decided to try… and we are glad to report that there were no serious altitude-related problems during this entire trip ..read more
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Drone Over Cuenca
MindStorm Photography Blog and Gallery
by Burt Johnson and Evelyn Johnson
2w ago
Years ago Evelyn let me have my first drone. It was fun to fly, but I was very new at it, and the flight electronics were adequate at best. I crashed that poor drone a few times on the Ecuadorian coast, and many other times in Cuenca, including one time it nearly hit a parade I was trying to photograph from the air, but instead crashed inside a sealed off construction site (back when Plaza San Francisco was being remodeled). It was also huge — and difficult to take on a photography trip. I finally decided to sell it to a photographer on Easter Island, Chile, in 2019, when it was 3 years old ..read more
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New Year’s Eve 2022 in Cuenca
MindStorm Photography Blog and Gallery
by Burt Johnson and Evelyn Johnson
3w ago
New Year’s Eve in Ecuador is unlike anything we have seen elsewhere in the world. Though muted this year, compared to many pre-COVID years, it was still worth a walk around town to see the creative minds at work. Every year, families and groups create their own manigotes, which are paper maché dummies in various forms, usually humanoid. These dummies are designed to represent something or someone that the creator wants to leave behind from the Old Year. Families usually pin notes on their person manigotes, making explicit things they want to start the New Year without. In past years, I have s ..read more
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Christmas 2022 in Cuenca
MindStorm Photography Blog and Gallery
by Burt Johnson and Evelyn Johnson
3w ago
The Christmas Eve Pase del Niño Viajero parade used to be massive, lasting for 8 hours and involving at least 20% of the city’s citizens. COVID put a sudden and unexpected stop to the continued growth of this parade in 2019, with the parade being forbidden in both 2019 and 2020. Last year, in 2021, only a truncated part of the parade was allowed by city officials. Though the government said that 2022 would allow a full return to normal, many people still fear COVID, and the parade was significantly reduced from pre-pandemic levels. In fact, this year the parade started at least an hour late ..read more
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Cuenca Soup Kitchen Christmas 2022
MindStorm Photography Blog and Gallery
by Burt Johnson and Evelyn Johnson
1M ago
Last year, in 2021, we volunteered at the Cuenca Soup Kitchen by offering professional portraits of all the kids they help, to give to their parents. We came back to Cuenca this year just in time to do it again. The Cuenca Soup Kitchen has grown to support some 250 families, and we ended up photographing 197 children this year. Each child was photographed, and the parents are receiving a print, as well as an electronic version of each portrait, for their phones or social media. Above are a few of the staff that helped put this program together. In the middle is Des and Bill, two of the three ..read more
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Lima, Peru 2 – Museums
MindStorm Photography Blog and Gallery
by Burt Johnson and Evelyn Johnson
1M ago
We also visited other museums in Lima. One of the largest is the Larco Museum, which has been on every list of “must see” attractions in Lima, displaying one of the largest collections of pre-Colombian artifacts. Lorena had gone earlier on her own, and said there was no reason to take any photographs this time. We linked up with a museum guide for our group of 7 (lower-right). The first place she took was the Storage Room for the museum. After Lorena recovered from her shock that she totally missed this room on her first visit, her camera came out! ☺ The title of the room was “Storage Room ..read more
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Peru – Lake Titicaca
MindStorm Photography Blog and Gallery
by Burt Johnson and Evelyn Johnson
1M ago
Lake Titicaca is a UNESCO heritage site and is the highest navigable fresh water lake in the world at an elevation (12,507′). It is also the largest lake in South America, bordering Peru and Bolivia. There are an estimated 70 – 114 small floating islands, with the bulk scattered in the shallow depths of the lake near Puno, Peru. The drone images above are from Amantani Island, where we stayed with a local family. Enroute from Chivay to Puno, the rain storm was off-and-on, which actually enabled us to create an abstract photo through the car windshield (upper-right). The valley that we drove ..read more
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Peru – Arequipa
MindStorm Photography Blog and Gallery
by Burt Johnson and Evelyn Johnson
1M ago
We have visited Peru on four occasions in the past, but never made it to Arequipa, Colca Canyon nor Lake Titicaca, so we decided to make that a destination this time. On our drive from Arequipa (a UNESCO heritage site dubbed the White City), we saw this flying saucer shaped cloud hovering near the Misti volcano mountain top — a 19 second time-lapse is viewable below. One of our first stops in Arequipa was to see Santa Catalina Convent, built in the 16th century. Almost all openings, both between buildings and inside rooms were arched-shaped, to help the building withstand the frequent earth ..read more
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Los Toldos and beyond, Argentina
MindStorm Photography Blog and Gallery
by Burt Johnson and Evelyn Johnson
1M ago
The church above is “The Monasterio Agustino de Santa Maria” founded by Swiss monks in 1948. Enroute to Los Toldos, the home of JT and Betty, as well as the birthplace of Eva Perón, we made a number of stops along the 6-hour drive(180 miles) to explore local towns, tourist attractions, food and ice cream stops as well as gas stops. Almost every city has a town square serving as a social and commercial meeting place in the middle, the church on one end, and retail surrounding the perimeter. Above is just one of the many churches we saw. Our first stop enroute was to the Buenos Aires Japanese G ..read more
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50th Anniversary in Lima!
MindStorm Photography Blog and Gallery
by Burt Johnson and Evelyn Johnson
1M ago
Burt and Evelyn Johnson were married on December 16, 1972 on skis at Kirkwood Meadows, California, 50 years ago We reached our golden 50th wedding anniversary–a milestone we never thought we would achieve! Rather than celebrate it with friends in a local restaurant, we decided that this landmark deserved something a bit bigger. We decided to celebrate in Lima, Peru — a city known as the Culinary Capital of South America and one of the foodie paradises in the world. Not just that, but we chose Central Restaurant, which is ranked as the #1 Restaurant in all of South America. We invited several c ..read more
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