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Latin American Fotografia: Lynn Savarese

By David Schonauer   Wednesday July 27, 2016


Lynn Savarese  says photographing water has been “a lifelong passion.”

And in early 2015 she was able to indulge that passion in a memorable way during a three-day visit to Iguazu Falls on the Argentine/Brazil border, the largest waterfalls system in the world. The New York-based fine-art photographer had just wrapped up a group photo trip to Buenos Aires and decided to take more time to travel to see the spectacle. “The experience was cathartic — such extraordinary power and beauty!” she says.

It also led to a powerful series of photographs that were later named winners of the Latin American Fotografia 4  competition.

Savarese says her goal was to photograph “water in tumult” in an original way. “The great challenge in photographing water — and especially iconic watering holes visited by millions of tourists and photographed millions of times — is to get past the postcard images and tourist shots to capture something more elemental,” she says.

Her solution was tireless exploration. “From morning to evening each day, I wandered along the paths around the Falls to view and shoot from as many perspectives as possible, in as many lighting conditions as possible,” she says. “On a boat ride up to the Falls one afternoon — to experience them as directly head-on as possible — I became completely drenched and destroyed my iPhone, but still reveled in the experience. 


"On my last morning at Iguazu, I walked along the tram tracks up to the top of the Falls — Devil’s Throat — well before the first  visitors arrived, and I had the entire vista all to myself. That was a truly unforgettable experience,” says Savarese.


She shot all her images of the Falls with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. “I alternated between using my 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses. Back home in New York City, over the course of several months, I pored over the several thousand RAW digital images I had brought back with me, searching for ones that captured the Falls' elemental power. Then I experimented with both black and white and color and vertical and horizontal emphasis. What emerged are two Iguazu Falls series — one in color and another in black and white — as well as a two-volume handmade boxed portfolio set of black-and-white images printed on watercolor paper.”

The work was also featured in an exhibition earlier this year at the International Center of Photography in New York.

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Dispatches from Latin America