Category: Colombia, 2016

Isolate Santa Cruz

February 12
On Punta Faro, we’re treated to luxury resort service and comforts – an exclamation point to our journey after a week of intense photography and travel. Punta Faro also gives us something else that few others get to experience: direct and local access to one of the little-known places in Colombia, Islote Santa Cruz. This is the world’s most densely populated island, about 5000 sq.ft. of space, with hundreds of descendants from just a few original families. To prevent the island from being inundated by visitors, tourists are not permitted.  Because Nevada and Adam have been there twice already and shown sincere interest in the inhabitants, our group is grandfathered in.  We are greeted very warmly, and Nevada passes out photos brought with her that she’s taken on prior visits.
We take a short trip to the island in the morning and wake up with the inhabitants, and wander around to talk with and photograph them.  The garbage boat, which comes monthly from Cartagena is there. 


After the morning trip, I spend half an hour reviewing my blog photos with Nevada. Her comments are very helpful. To a significant extent, I can readily identify which of my photos are pretty good. Sometimes, though, she does not care for photos that I liked and, when I hear her thoughts, I almost always agree. In a few cases, she really likes photos that I had not considered among my best, and that, too, is helpful. She thinks I have far too many photos on the blog, and I agree, but as the photos are popular with those who follow the blog, I overdo it. She points out that, as a photographer, you are judged by your worst photos and, though I don’t think my followers are judging me, it’s a good rule to keep in mind. Nevada combines critical comments with recognition of good ones, which makes her a credible and excellent teacher. If I have time, I may go back and prune photos from earlier posts.

Swam in the ocean and sat in the sun for a while. Then introduced three other group members (and two bar tenders) to the Chi-Chi, a Piña Colada with vodka, instead of rum. Life has taken a definite turn for the better.

We return to the island in the late afternoon for a longer, more relaxed time period, during which we bring beer and soft drinks to the inhabitants.  Evening light brings out the dominoes and card games, and the children playing soccer or marbles, and mugging for photos.  The two photography sessions on the island are very different; and both good.

Compact and colorful streets remind you of a very colorful small Greek village while the Caribbean coral surrounding the place provides near unlimited natural resources that the inhabitants seem to gather in a most harmonious way. Local crab, fish, turtle, shark and stone are abundant and are seen constantly; evening light brings out the dominoes, the children and the fresh-cooked fish.  Both young and old are happy to be photographed. 





Isolate Santa Cruz is a truly unique place, and we are privileged to be welcomed in to photograph its people.  I don’t feel nearly the same voyeuristic sense that made me somewhat uncomfortable photographing in the village we visited yesterday.

We have a very good buffet dinner of curried shrimp and steak outdoors, then retire early.

7 comments to Isolate Santa Cruz

  • lauri pollack

    VERY interesting. Love the photos.

  • David Levine

    Happy YOU

  • Paul Woo

    Geez – think you’re right. It never crossed my mind to judge your photos. I look for faces and color (not so much for movement) and just absorb the connection you’ve made for us through your viewfinder. It’s always engaging, fascinating and fun. Glad you are my friend Arnie. Keep up this great blog and keeping shooting.

  • It sounds like Nevada is a teriffic mentor but PLEASE keep posting lots of photos because I love seeing them! This batch of photos might be the batch I like best!

    Have fun!

  • Leslie Paul

    love the photos!! what does Nevada Know anyway??? glad you are enjoying!!! Les

  • Great photos, Dadz. My favorites might be the guys playing cards and the one after that of the boys playing a game in the corner. Great that you got access to this place and the people! (I’m playing catch up on your blog, working my way backwards.)

  • The photos are great! I always love them! I agree with Phoebe that Nevada sounds like a great mentor, but please keep posting lots of photos!

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