Jim Purdum tells stories with authentic moments, whether he is crafting a brand for a client or capturing a personal journey. His love of travel has brought fleeting moments of unique beauty, adventure and lifestyle to his audience. This past year, that sense of adventure brought him to a self-assigned stock photography project on Peru, where he followed some LA friends on vacation.
With detailed online research and planning ahead of time, Jim found numerous themes to explore, from the dramatic views to ancient ruins, to the locals, other tourists and native agriculture and foods. No trip to Peru is complete without hiking around Machu Picchu, the icon of ancient Inca civilization. Machu Picchu, the 15th-century Inca citadel and ceremonial site, is situated on a mountain ridge 7,970 feet above sea level. Scholars are still trying to unravel its mysteries, and it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The high altitude with low-oxygen climbing around Machu Picchu and in the city of Cuzco, (elevation over 11,000 feet), can catch even a physically fit person off-guard and can be extremely debilitating. Even with a local assistant to help with gear, good lungs are needed in this kind of terrain. Through his involvement with so many adventure and travel projects, Jim has learned that keen preparation and keeping things light for his guerilla-style type of shooting is the key to getting great imagery.
He ascended the mountain very early in the morning and raced ahead to get the perfect sunrise light and sense of discovery to make it special. When not taking pictures of his friends, he observed and photographed other tourists and locals. He was able to charm several German tourists and catch candid moments. “I knew if I showed up to some of the picturesque overviews of Cuzco at sunset I’d find other travelers there photographing the landscape and each other that could instantly become my subjects,” he says.
Equipment for “Machu Picchu Adventure” was kept to a minimum with a 35mm camera kit, a couple of lenses, a small battery strobe kit, tripod and reflector. Jim has captured the grandeur and history of Peru with its villages, towns and Inca ruins along the Sacred Valley, as well as the hospitable people of Cuzco from sunrise to sunset. And for added local flavor he got to try Alpaca, one of Peru’s native dishes (uneventful he says), but did not go so far as their national delicacy of roasted guinea pig! “Machu Picchu Adventure” is available for stock photography, as well as for Jim’s portfolio, website and Social Media.