Selected daily by the photo staff of National Geographic.
Photo: El Alto Bolivia
October 31, 2007
Photographer Ivan Kashinsky captured a typical morning on the backstreets of El Alto, Bolivia. North of La Paz, El Alto lies at over 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) above sea level. The population has grown significantly over the past decades, with the majority of inhabitants belonging to the Aymara indigenous group.

Why was this image chosen for Our Shot?

Senior Photo Editor Sarah Leen explains the reason she chose this photo: "I find this image to have a lasting quality that belies its quiet simplicity. The photographer remains invisible in this wonderfully caught moment. The image puts me there in the crisp air and clean morning light. My eye moves among the figures, everyone of them perfectly caught as if placed in their proper positions. But the heart of the image for me is the little boy on the curb, his studied downward gaze, the little blue socks, red pants, green shirt, and plaid hat against the blue wall, and how nicely he is bracketed by the two adult figures on either side of him. I might consider cropping this image a bit on the left and top to strengthen the diagonal of the receding building and the impact of the woman in the bowler hat, but only if the photographer would agree." What do you think?

Photograph by Ivan Kashinsky
Photo Date: September 11, 2007

This image was shot on assignment for, but not published in, the September 2008 feature, "Bolivia's Wrestlers."

Click here to see more of Ivan Kashinsky's images from this assignment.


Oct 31, 2007 9AM #

No cropping. The 'road' leading away, provides the photo with the 'depth' of the poverty as do the wires criss crossing the sky line.

Rick Wise
Oct 31, 2007 9AM #

I so agree with Shirley -- no cropping, though I understand the initial instinct to go there. But if you look at the composition for a while you see the balances of competing vectors. The crossing planes are astonishingly complete as are the images of closed facades and roads that lead nowhere. The hope of the child is almost buried and the hopeless cityscape.

Carlos E
Oct 31, 2007 9AM #

I'd cropped the left side of the image. Yes that part gives you the depthness but it also distracts you from what's really makes the shot work - each individual and their composition as a whole. Beautiful!

Heywood Williams
Oct 31, 2007 9AM #

I have to go with the majority - cropping on the top would lose those telling lines, and on the left would unbalance the long dark wedge of the building to which the bowler hat woman provides a weight, and lose the fading figures wandering away from this central scene. The little boy is nicely to the right of center. Truly a story here - and a long one.

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