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Meet Luis Alvarenga

Today we’d like to introduce you to Luis Alvarenga.

Luis, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I originally from Honduras but I’m a dreamer, a traveler, the world is my nation. I’ve been traveling and living in different countries looking for amazing experiences, cultures and beautiful landscapes. I started to learn about photography a few years ago while I was working as a trip leader for a photography tour company in the amazing Costa Rican rainforest. I was always listening to every single detail that the photographer was explaining to the groups on the trips and one day my boss lent me one of his cameras. I took some pictures with it and he told me that I had a good eye for photography so I exchanged my salary for one of his old cameras. That’s how it all started and from there I started making my dream of taking pictures to come true.

A few months later, I started working at an adventure park and was in charge of the photographers of the company. We were responsible for taking pictures during different activities such as zip lining, kayaking, downhill biking, river drifting, and other activities near the Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica. It was an amazing experience living close to the rainforest. It was in the middle of nowhere with beautiful volcanoes, lakes, wildlife and most importantly, beautiful dark nights where I was able to see all of the stars with my naked eyes. Those nights were when I gained an interest in learning astrophotography.

The next job I got was working as a trip leader and travel photographer for an American travel company. I was leading trips in different countries such as Mexico, Belize, and Costa Rica and that is where I met my beautiful wife who is from Arizona. A year later, I came to visit and I fell in love with the beauty of the desert where I continue to exploring and preserving through my photography.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There are always obstacles in life but I never give up on my dreams, I’m that kind of person who loves challenges, challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what make life meaningful. One of my biggest challenges has been being outside of my comfort zone leaving everything all that I had, my family and start walking creating my own path. The simple fact of looking for places to photograph can also be a challenge, there are a lot of ways you can go to find locations but sometimes there are some wild places that are remotes where there’s no internet service, away from the civilization, long hikes with heavy equipment but satisfy soul when you get those shots of those beautiful places.

The weather is another big challenge when the places are beautiful most of the time they have the most unpredictable weather, this is one of the realities of landscape photography because you have no control over the weather. You have to be patient because of the rain, the sun, the wind, the clouds, storms, the fog, the snow can make it this hard or even dangerous, You have to be flexible and work with the conditions that are presented to you. Patience possibly is the biggest virtue for me and for most of the landscapes photographers around the world, we need to be patient, waiting for the right light or the right conditions, taking the time to find the best perspective and compositions, or feeling rushed to move on the next location or subject, patience is always a challenge.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Something that I enjoy and love to do is to be in the wild and the outdoor activities, trying to pursue my dreams, where photography, adventure, and inspiration meet. Photography drives me, I travel far in the search for the remote wonderful landscapes and the majestic nature. My goal is to capture the emotions and evoke that powerful feeling of wonder through photographs. Photography is my passion and photographing places that I’ve been are the prizes of the experiences lived, emotionally charged and with the power to evoke the feelings I felt when I took them, It’s my way to possess and share a little bit of this spectacular world we live in. That feeling of admiration and marvel caused by the power of nature.

It emerges from the constant urge to travel, to feel the anxiety of the unknown and the freedom of being miles away from your day to day routine, that thrill that every trip brings new things to discover, new lessons, new experiences. The kind of photography that I love to do are landscapes, long exposure, astrophotography, and wildlife. The last two years I have been focus on learning the technique how to photograph the great milky way or astrophotography looking for places away from the light pollution to take milky way shots is incredibly rewarding, I love to share experiences with other passionate people, photographers, who love the call of adventure, learning new things, and spending night after night, under the stars, far away from the noise of daily life and the city lights.

Is there a quality or characteristic that has played an outsized role in your success?
I have started from zero and I have tried to enjoy every step, every stage in which I have learned a lot from my mistakes and my success but the most important that photography makes me the happiest person in the world. As a landscape photographer, some geographic regions call your return, year after year, through changing seasons, conditions, weather patterns, and daily struggles. These special places become part of you, they teach you, as a photographer, and as a human being. They call you back, for more backpacking adventures, for more solo journeys through the wilderness, cold nights and for more road trips through the desert with my wifey my partner in crime who support me in all my craziness. I have spent the last five years photographing each location that I’ve visited, tens if not hundreds of times. I take tours here because these places call me back year after year. For me, these wild places are where I spend my life. They have become part of who I am as a person and taught me more than any university, textbook or class ever will.

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Image Credit:
Luis Alvarenga

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