All images by Sonia Szóstak. Used with Creative Commons Permission.
Nature has been mankind’s biggest sources of inspiration and ideas for all kinds of creative pursuits. Nothing compares to being inspired while immersing in the hues, textures, lines, shapes, and formations that we can find in the great outdoors. Such was the experience of photographer Sonia Szóstak and her team while travelling across the beautiful landscapes of Bolivia and Peru.
For Paris-based Sonia Szóstak, Bolivia and Peru are among the best places to study color composition, and her series of travel photos entitled Magic Hours bear testament to this claim. Indeed, her beautiful snaps show jagged mountains, sloping hillsides, snowy hiking trails, and sprawling grasslands painted in different eye-catching colors. This set definitely shows what makes the two destinations among the most sought after in South America.
If nature is a classroom, Sonia considers Bolivia’s Eduardo Avaroa National Park as the best teacher. Straddling the border with Chile in the central region of the Andes, Sonia and her travel companions were treated to its breath-taking landscapes with volcanoes, lagoons, flamingos, and geysers, all of which added color and interest to their adventures. Brimming with surrealist spirit which most likely inspired the Magic Hours, it’s comprised and surrounded by places of interest with mystic-sounding names: Stone Tree, Seven-Color Mountains, and Salvador Dali Desert.
Sonia’s photographic log is enough to inspire wanderlust on its own, and the accompanying narrative by Ada Petriczko gives us some notes on what to include in our itinerary. If we want to experience Sonia’s Magic Hours, we have to brave the challenging trek across the Altiplano, the high plateau shared by Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Argentina. Prepare to weather through altitude sickness, extreme temperatures, and breathlessness due to both the scenic grandeur and the thin air at over 4,000 meters above sea level. Prepare to do it all over again circling the Ausangate Mountain in Peru, but also delight in the sight of crimson peaks, charcoal lakes, and moss fields.
Don’t forget to see the rest of Magic Hours and other works by Sonia Szóstak on her Behance page.