A Delightful Bolivia Workshop

I have just returned from teaching my latest photo workshop in Bolivia. It was a really fun workshop, with dedicated participants, lots of photo opportunities and plenty of enjoyable moments. Most important for us, the workshop teachers, was seeing how each participants were able to develop their photography during the 10 days we were travelling in eastern parts of Bolivia.

This workshop involves a lot more travelling than most of the workshops I teach. More or less every second day we were taking off to a new town or village, which both makes the workshop more adventures as well as add some pressure with regards to being able to find time for picture critiques and lectures every day.

We were travelling in the footsteps Che Guevara and his failed revolutionary attempt in Bolivia fifty years ago. Following his last days was just a framework for the travel not a theme for the photographing—unless participants chose to do so. After meeting up in Santa Cruz, the financial hub in eastern Bolivia, we took off first to Samaipata, then to Vallegrand and La Higuea before returning to Santa Cruz. The highlight was no doubt La Higuera, a small village high up in the mountains with a handful of houses and only 43 inhabitants.

I think it’s fair to say, that the combinations of daily feedback on photos the participants take as well as being able to photograph one and one next to either me or my colleague Sven Creutzmann, with whom I taught the workshop, give a good dynamic for each participant to develop his or her photography. The result was noticeable. A lot of very strong imagery was captured during the workshop.

This is the third team we have organized this workshop.

Here are a couple of glimpses behind the scene during the workshop. Later on, I will get back with photos we shot during the ten days in Bolivia.

On the Road Again

As you are reading this post, I am getting going teaching another photo workshop in Bolivia. It has just started. Today, Monday, we are heading out from Santa Cruz, the regional centre in eastern Bolivia, to the village of Samaipata. Over the next week plus, we will continue to Vallegrande and La Higuera and finally head back again to Santa Cruz at the end of next week.

I have been looking forward both to be on the road and not the least to teach this workshop again. Last time we did it—that is my friend and colleague Sven Creutzmann and I—was back in 2013. We have a nice group of participants with us this time, most of whom have attended at least one of our workshops before.

This is definitely a photo workshop for the more adventures photographers. Yes, here in Santa Cruz we stay at a great and quit luxurious hotel, but hereafter it’s going to be plenty of bumpy roads and the most unpretentious of accommodations. Simply because that’s all there is in the towns and village up in the eastern mountains of Bolivia.

The tour will follow in the footsteps of Che Guevara. For some he was a hero, for some a terrorist. No matter what you think about him, the history and how it all ended here in the mountains of Bolivia is fascinating.

I will try to keep you posted about the trip and the workshop as we go, but cannot promise anything. Internet is not well accessible in these rural areas. Anyway, here we go.

Che and I






We have come to the finally presentation of work done by the participants of the Bolivian photo workshop in spring this year. Marianne Leth had a very different and personal approach to the project she was working on during the workshop. Since she was born on the same date as Che Guevara, the rebel who ended his days in Bolivia and whose footstep the workshop was following, she wanted to delve into that connection through her photographs. She was looking for traces of Che Guevara wherever we went. At first that wasn’t quite enough, until she got the idea of combining these black and white pictures with iPhone pictures of herself in various places in Bolivia. Marianne has a very distinctive eye and a strong and personal vision that radiates from her pictures. Through the combination of the two different photos and by adding quotes by Che Guevara she is able to transcend a poignant relationship between land and people, herself and Che Guevara and between idea and reality. To get the most out of her work displayed here, please click on each image to getter a bigger view.

If you want to see more of Marianne’s pictures from Bolivia, you can look up the book Bolivia 2013 which showcases the work of all the participants. All the images are available on preview, but it’s also possible to buy the book.

The Small Moments of Life






Klaus Holsting pictures capture the small moments of life. He waits for all the compositional elements and the flow of action however subtle it might be, to line up in the tradition of Cartier-Bresson’s decisive moment. Still his expression is all his own. During the Bolivian workshop in April earlier this year, he worked exclusively in colour, went about in his unobtrusive way and mingled with the locals whether in a bar, on a market or at the homes of the people living in the villages we visited during the workshop. And waited for those small moments to occur. His pictures speaks with a gentle voice, are often moody and dark, and come across with a profound insight to the lives he captures.

If you want to see more of Klaus’s pictures from Bolivia, you can look up the book Bolivia 2013 which showcases the work of all the participants. All the images are available on preview, but it’s also possible to buy the book.

Du you want to do a photo workshop in Bolivia. Then next «On the Tracks of Che Guevara» will take place this autumn, from October 7th to 14th. MORE INFO.

In Search of Health





Jens Panduro was one of the participants of the Bolivian photo workshop «On the Tracks of Che Guevara» who worked on a very specific and tangible project. During the eight days’ workshop in April he was photographing the health care system in the rural area of Eastern Bolivia. He captured the modest facilities as well as the users of Bolivian health care system. The end result was a touching and honest visualization of how it is to be hospitalized in the small clinics particularly in the small colonial town of Vallegrande, the capital of the province with the same name. The hospital, Nuestra Señora de Malta, is by the way, where the body of Che Guevara was taken to after he was killed in La Higuera, then cleaned and presented to the international press.

You can find more of Jens’ pictures (as well as by the other participants of the workshop) in the book with photos from the workshop published on Blurb: Bolivia 2013. The whole book is possible to preview.

Du you want to do a photo workshop in Bolivia. Then next «On the Tracks of Che Guevara» will take place this autumn, from October 7th to 14th. MORE INFO.

A Photographic Invation

Bolivia 2013

Bolivia 2013

After Vallegrande the participants of the Blue Hour Photo Workshops’ Bolivian workshop continued to the very small village of La Higuera. According to the 2001 census La Higuera has a population of 119, mainly indigenous Guarani people.

When 18 photographers, included the teachers, invaded such a small village it would seem to possibly impose quite a disturbance in the local people’s daily, quiet and otherwise peaceful life. And one would think that such a bunch of photographers would stand upon each others shoulders to take photos of whatever local individual they would find in or around the few houses that make up La Higuera.

But strangely enough it was like the village absorbed the horde of photographers invading the small community. The participants found their own turfs and came back from their daily excursions with complete different pictures. And the villagers seemed to take the invaders with stoic calm. How would they otherwise be able to take pictures of farmers waking up in the morning in their own houses – or follow a family around in their daily lives?

For the participants the openness and hospitality they were met by in La Higuera, was quite a touching experience. Not only did the villagers open their houses, but also their hearts – and the participants found new friends in a foreign country. And returned with some expressive and very strong images.

La Higuera takes an important place in Bolivia’s history of 1967. On October 8 that year Che Guevara was captured by the CIA-assisted Bolivian Army in the nearby ravine Quebrada del Churo, ending his campaign to create a continental revolution in South America. Che Guevara was held in the schoolhouse in La Higuera, where he was killed the next day.

The images following this post are taken by Henrik Bjerg.