How to Photograph Salar de Uyuni
The world's biggest salt flat, the Salar de Uyuni, is a vast salt desert stretching nearly 400 square miles (1,000 square kilometers) in southwest Bolivia. It's a memorizing sight—unearthly beauty that offers endless inspiration for photographers. Here are some tips for capturing the best possible shots.
Use angles and perspective to create optical illusions.
The best way to achieve an optical illusion in your Salar de Uyuni shot is to have one subject super close to your camera and the other further in the distance. As a rule of thumb, the larger subject—a travel companion for instance—should be further away to create the illusion that they’re the same size (or smaller) than your foreground subject.
Pick your season wisely.
During the rainy season, from January to April, the flats are covered in a thin layer of water that creates a mirror-like effect reflecting the sky. Perspective photos tend to be more successful during the dry season when the flat plain of salt helps to trick the eye.
Bring some props.
Inanimate objects can help you create interesting illusions in your images, especially if you’re traveling solo. Toy animals and utensils will do the trick, but don’t be afraid to use your imagination (and whatever you might have tucked into your suitcase).
Get low to the ground.
Don’t be afraid to lay belly down in the salt to get the perspective you need. You want your subjects to look like they’re on the same level, and this is more difficult to pull off if you’re standing or kneeling.
Visit with a local guide.
The Bolivian salt flats are a popular photo op, and a local guide will likely have insider knowledge on the best locations, as well as how to set up some of the most popular optical illusion shots.