Focus on Peru
Photographer Janusz Molinski shares his experiences photographing the ancient relics, clear blue skies, majestic mountains and warm smiles of the land of the Incas.
Land of the Incas
There’s so much to capture a photographer’s eye in Peru. This ancient South American nation is bordered by Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile and the Pacific Ocean, and straddled by the magnificent Andes mountains.
It is culturally fascinating and geograpically diverse – from the arid plains of its pacific coastal region to the rugged peaks of the Andes and the tropical Amazon Rainforest. Peru, the land of the legendary Incas, has a multi-ethnic population strongly influenced by Hispanic and native traditions.
It’s cultural capital, Cusco, is dominated by elegant Spanish architecture but many buildings sit on Incan stone foundations. Cusco is the gateway to Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular archeological sites on the planet and a symbol of the Incan Empire. The compound, built around 1450AD, sits almost 2400 metres above sea level over the Urubamba River Valley. It comprises more than 150 buildings including bath houses and temples, all formed from hand-carved grey granite stone.
Cusco is the gateway to Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the planet and a symbol of the Incan Empire
On the way to Machu Picchu visit the remarkable Sacred Valley, renowned for its archaeological sites and colourful and timeless Peruvian lifestyles.
In the market town of Pisac, traders ply their wares at regular markets while in the rustic town of Chinchero, impressive Incan stone walls surround an adobe church and a plaza where local fabric artisans sell their crafts and textiles.
Janusz Molinski was a guest of PROMPERU.
Market style. In Chinchero, near Cusco, artisans sell colourful rugs, throws and other handicrafts at local markets. The market seller’s Montera (hat), immediately drew my eye.
Cornucopia. At the San Pedro Market in Cusco there are many varieties of corn, a staple in Peruvian cuisine. I couldn’t resist capturing the sheen on these purple-black cobs.
A rich handicraft tradition. In the town of Pisac, in The Sacred Valley, a local market seller’s clothing is more than just a colourful outfit – it provides clues about her life including her marital status.
Alpaca roaming In Cusco, it’s not unusual to see women walking with their alpacas. In this image, I was struck by the contrast of the animal against the intense blue of the door.
Colour clash In Pisac, this row of multi-coloured chairs caught my eye. Using a long lens, I compressed the perspective to create a simple but lovely textural effect.
Out and about The ubiquitous taxi cholo is similar to the Asian tuk tuk. They look fantastic!
At Ollantaytambo, a local woman wears a multitude of colourful shawls. I loved her impressive hat with its large rusty pin.
Arequipa, Southern Peru Santa Catalina Monastery’s textured red walls looked dazzling against the clear blue sky and snow-capped volcano.
Incan wonder An overcast day at Machu Picchu forced me to focus my attention on composition to compensate for the dull light.