A forced perspective in Bolivia: our best Salar de Uyuni photos

BY ONEIKA RAYMOND

Looking to spice up your travel photos and shake up your point of view? I’ve got just the place for you…

There’s a place in Bolivia that is like nowhere you’ve ever seen.

It’s a photographer’s dream, a jumpstart for the jaded traveller, and an oasis for the wannabe geologist slash nature enthusiast.

High up in the Andes, where the air is cold and oxygen levels low, lies the Salar de Uyuni, the remains of a prehistoric lake run dry. The Salar, or the Uyuni Salt Flat, stretches for over 4,000 square miles into the nothingness, and is covered in bright-white salt whose sheen stings the eyes.

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As its name indicates, it’s flat– one of the flattest places on earth. It is also one of the emptiest: in some parts there is nary a tree, mountain, or overall blemish to mar the landscape.

IMG_4935IMG_4934   Which brings me to the reason I’m writing this post: these two factors create the perfect storm for creating wacky forced perspective photos. Because there is a lack of visual reference points in the horizon, our eyes are tricked and point of view completely skewed.

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Result: a phenomenon that is weird, trippy… and ridiculously lucrative. This unique feature of the desert has become a HUGE tourist attraction that brings curious people to Bolivia from far and wide; google “Salar de Uyuni picture ideas” and you’ll see a slew of creative perspective-bending pics that will have you scratching your head and asking, “How the heck did they do that?” Because, like, for serious, this place takes “doing it for the ‘Gram” to a whole. nother. level. Kindly direct your attention to exhibit A: salar-de-uyuni-dinosaur

As it so happens, Liebling and I found ourselves in this crazy place during our trip to Bolivia, so had to get in some forced perspective shots ourselves (when in Rome Bolivia, right?) Our exploration of the desert was via a  3-day, 2-night jaunt with Red Planet Tours (we paid $190 USD per person–more expensive than other operators but well worth the money) and, as you’ll see below, one of the included activities was a full 45-minute photo stop in the most barren part of the desert.  A note to the masses: staging these shots is way harder than it looks! Our very skilled tour guide Oscar helped us get some awesome snaps but after he was gone we struggled doing the rest on our own. Anyway, below are some of the best (trust me, there were lots of duds):

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Because cannibalism is the cornerstone of any healthy marriage.

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Sometimes my husband just blows me away. Literally.

 

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There was an old lady who lived in a shoe. Well, maybe not so old.

 

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Just chilling in the Bolivian desert with his tyrannosaurus rex. As you do.

 

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Because everything tastes better when you lick it slowly (and add salt). Hardy har har.
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My new ride. #dinosaurtings

 

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Because attempting to do yoga in a shoe is even better than just living in it.
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Because the thirst is super duper real in a desert made of salt.

 

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Because I’ve always dreamed of being able to dwarf my husband and force feed him a bottle of whiskey.

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He’s cute but sometimes I just want him to scram. #onlychildtings

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Oedipus complex or nah?

 

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Reading is fundamental. Especially when you’re looking for a life partner.

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Because figure skating atop bottles of water is what we do to keep it real in the field.

Cool huh? If you need proof that truth can be stranger than fiction, or simply want a new badass Facebook cover photo, add a visit to the Salar de Uyuni to your bucket list. You need to see it to believe it!

Have you ever been to the Salar de Uyuni? Which of our photos is your favourite?

SHARING IS CARING

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71 Comments

  • These are SO great! I’m obsessed with all of them. You have just reinforced my need to get to Bolivia very soon!

    Reply
  • These pictures are AWESOME! My brain is reeling with other ideas- including one that involves me running in to a toy sized TARDIS. : ) I’m also a high school English teacher who loves to travel, but I don’t manage nearly as many destinations as you do. But, you know, #goals. I’m so glad I found your blog. Thanks for writing!

    Reply
  • Wow ;D Your photos are reeeeally amazing 😉 i travel with my gf and we love it. We visited Bolivi and Salar De Uyuni. Btw, we used this http://vivaster.com/ From islands in a sea of blindingly bright salt to delicately colored mineral lakes in the Andean mountains, Salar De Uyuni is an unforgettable Bolivian landscape. We don’t have an aim to visit Bolivia this year,but i’m sure everything is still ahead.
    Thanks again for your article.

    Reply
  • Hi Oneika. I’m wondering, do you know if Bolivia has anything else to offer other than the salt flats? How many days would you suggest here?

    Reply
  • Uyuni , Bolivia . The Salar de Uyuni is one of those unique places on the planet that amaze and marvel at its beauty and stillness.

    A place that is magical to the eyes, where nature has developed a desert of salt that stretches for miles, surrounding the traveler with a mixture between the white of the ground and the heavenly sky that leaves you breathless.

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