The Salar de Uyuni provides lots of opportunities for illusion photographs. The trick is to get the camera as close to the ground as you can. Its best if you lie or your stomach and put the camera on the ground. Then the foreground person does their thing (in this case raise their leg) whilst the person getting squashed goes about 5 to 10 metres further back. It is really up to the person behind the camera to direct the “actors” until the shot is right. It usually takes a few goes to get it right. Its a lot of fun doing them – here is my favourite Salar de Unyuni illusion photo.
The Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is not just a tourist attraction, it is a working salt flat. The salt is pushed into piles for harvest and as you can see, there are a lot of them. This is done in the dry season after the water from the wet season has evaporated. There are plenty of tours operating from Uyuni to get to the flats, and some include salt hotels and the train graveyard. Our tour was over several days, transport was in 4×4, and we also had a cook as well as a driver. Make sure you take sunglasses, this place is blinding with the altitude, sun and of course white salt everywhere!
Despite the fact that I am inflicting serious long-term damage to myself this is a pretty cool illusion photo it has to said. The place is so flat and the horizon so distant that these types of photo are quite easy to set up. If you look around the flats you’ll see dozens of tourists doing their illusion photos, and it makes for quite a bizarre scene. There is actually a small cafe and shop out there as well, on one of the “islands”, which somehow makes it even more weird. These islands stick out of the flats and are rocky and have cacti growing on them. As well as the salt flats for tourists making illusion photos, the place is actually used for collecting salt. Check out these piles of salt for an idea of how it looks.
The train cemetery at Uyuni is a fascinating collection of “dead” trains. All rusting away on the tracks, there must have been dozens of them. It’s a short drive from town, completely free and well worth a visit. Plan on spending around 30 minutes to an hour exploring the trains and looking around. There is nothing else there, so take water, sunglasses, snacks etc.