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Lake Titicaca and the Cordillera Real

Lake Titicaca and the Cordillera Real
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 1989-08
Categories: Mountain
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-07-18 5:37
Viewed: 6619
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This will be my last posting for a while as I am going to China on friday (Tibet).

This is quite an old shot, but quite special to me. It was taken from the ferry between Bolivia and Peru in the early morning. The air was cold and bright - it was too cold to be on deck really, but I was stunned by this view of the Cordillera Real (Royal Mountains) rising up on the shore of Lake Titicaca. It is a scanned slide taken with a Pentax SFX, 70-210 zoom and agfa 100asa slide film. Technically, it is not perfect - I was having a job to get the diesel fumes from the boat out of the shot at the top and the boat itself at the bottom, but I hope it gives an impression of this majestic location.


Lake Titicaca is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, at 3,812 m (12,507 feet) above sea level. Located in the Altiplano high in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia, at 16°S 69°W, Titicaca has an average depth of 107 m, and a maximum depth of 281 m. The western part of the lake belongs to the Puno Region of Peru, and the eastern side is located in the Bolivian La Paz Department.

More than 25 rivers empty into Titicaca, and the lake has 41 islands, some of which are densely populated.

Titicaca is fed by rainfall and meltwater from glaciers on the sierras that abut the Altiplano. It is drained by the Desaguadero River, which flows south through Bolivia to Lake Poopó. This accounts for less than five percent of the lake's water loss, however, the rest is caused by evaporation as a result of the strong winds and sunlight at this altitude.

The origin of the name Titicaca is unknown. It has been translated as "Rock Puma", allegedly because of its resemblance to the shape of a puma hunting a rabbit, combining words from the local languages Quechua and Aymara, and as well as translated as "Crag of Lead." Locally, the lake goes by several names. Because the southeast quarter of the lake is separate from the main body (connected only by the Strait of Tiquina), the Bolivians call it Lago Huiñaymarca (Quechua: Wiñay Marka) and the larger part Lago Chucuito. In Peru, these smaller and larger parts are referred to as Lago Pequeño and Lago Grande, respectively.


The Cordillera Real is a range of granite fold mountains east of the Bolivian capital of La Paz, measuring 125 km in length and 20 km in width. There are six summits higher than 6,000 m in the cordillera which are from north to south:

Pico del Norte (6070 m)
Illampú (6368 m)
Ancohuma (6427 m)
Chachacomani (6074 m)
Huayna Potosi (6088 m)
Illimani (6462 m)

As a result of its proximity to the Amazon lowlands and the rise of moist air masses from there, the mountain range is glaciated at a relatively high amount.

SelenE, angybone, PaulH, lovenature, earthtraveler, gracious, ramthakur, saguzar, Necipp, marhowie, Evelynn, JPlumb, ridvan, vanderschelden, alguazul, uleko has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-07-18 6:04]
  • [2]

Hi James,

Lovely capture! The view is amazing. Great composition, light, POV, DOF and scenery. Well done and TFS

I'm tired of "wishing you a good trip" but you're not tired of travelling...(just kidding ofcourse :o))
Hope you have a great time there, have a safe and nice trip and come back with lots of great photos
Best wishes,

Well have fun! I'm looking forward to your photos upon your return!
Don't you just love saying Lake Titicaca. ha ha I love that word..it's right up there with Wallawalla, Washington.

What a beautiful shot with the mountains in the background. You can tell much from the thumbnail so when I clicked, I actually did one of those sharp intakes of air - "WOW"

Hello James!
Excellent landscape. Great light! Good perspective. Wonderful take. Regards!

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-07-18 6:25]

Hi James,
awesome, really breath taking. Those peaks look almost superimposed. Have a safe and productive journey my friend, i, like everyone else, will be waiting eagerly for what you bring back to show us.
You don't say what part of Tibet you're going to, but if your able to, i'd love to see a shot of Nanga Parbat or Annapurna...

A beautiful and majestic range of mountains. The sun shining softly onto the peaks show that they are massive in size. The colours here are so soft, I can see why ventured out on deck to capture this.
TFS Janice

Awesome landscape James!
I clicked the thumbnail and WHOA.
Incredible place depicted very well.
The lighting is wonderful.
Nice composition.
Have a wonderful time on your adventure to Tibet.

Hello James,
Wishing you a happy journey and wonderful stay in Tibet!
good composition on this photo with sharpness, well balanced colour and details
well seen

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2007-07-18 10:30]

Hello James,
Very nice place, more close to home for me
Lake Titicaca is amazing, I wish I had photos from visit
years ago.. well done..

"I'll Be Back"

The view of the lake and the mountains is truly grand, James. This picture taken 18 years ago looks fresh and new. The scanning is faultless.
All the best for your trip to Tibet.
Warm regards.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-07-19 1:12]
  • [+]

Hi James,
you do get around!!!
This is a really fascinating lake.
I watched a documentary on it a while back and it explains about all the animals that are unique to the lake like the Titicaca Frog.
A beautiful capture.
Excellent lighting.
What camera did you use?
Well done,

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-07-19 2:45]

James, Very nice portrait of this landscape. Wish you a safe and healthy journey and send some pictures of China. Greatwall. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-07-19 6:49]

Hi James,
Awesome scene here and superbly portrayed. The shape of the mountains and the light and shadow areas bring out the beauty of the place and the sheen on the waters the briiliant effect. No doubt this is a special place and you are lucky to be there seeing it with your own eyes. Just fantastic. Excellent POV and superbly composed and presented. Kudos.

Hope you have a good time in Cina and bring back lovely memories freezed in your camera. Bon Voyage!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! just amazing!!!!one day i will be there!!!
really really really great POV!you did it!!!

hi James,
It´s a wonderfulllll image!!!! I love the enourmous mountains behind the Tititcaca, I´ve never imagined such rock walls, they have a marvelous shape, looks like from a fairy tail or something else. Very nice blue tones and the composition is very likeable. Complete and useful note. Best regards

Hello James,
The massive mountains in the back wasn't at all visible in the thumb, impressive!
Wonderful backlight to create this attractive shimmering water, very well composed image!
Pablo -

I'm probably late, but have a great trip to China! Don't forget to bringa camnera!

Hello James nice landscapre and lovely contrast light reflections in the water the mountains look amazing I love the sharp black silouette of the distant shoreline really makes it stand out very well amazing! rgds Necip.

Hi James,
Very nice, a lovely panoramic view. Love the sparkling waters and early morning light..
Off to Tibet then, wow. You globe-trotter you :)
Have a safe trip,
PS - Send photos ;}

Gee...do you spend more time on you work or on making travel arrangements?? : ) You must be terribly good at it by now. This is an amazing shot. I didn't realize the mountains were so rugged there. Thanks for sharing it. I'm glad you braved the elements to get it!

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-07-31 20:41]

Hello James

Amazing ,the mountains rising up in the back round are awe inspiring.The composition is beautiful,with excellent focus and sharpness.The colours are very good.This is a wondrous view.TFS


  • Great 
  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2007-07-31 20:44]

What a fabulous rock. I think what I like most about this shot is the way you've captured the light, on the rock and on the water. This has set up excellent texturing with some great shadow play in those hills. The snow on the mountains is just a bonus to this giving them an almost alpine look. The transition to the sky is a soft one, making the hills seem even larger maybe than they are.

Thanks, John

selam james, wow an amazing shot and very good composition of this landscape nice pov and bg with splendid colours. looks like a dream.
Well done ! Regards

Hello James,
Lake Titicaca...with the Cordillera Real. Royal indeed!
Have a good time in China;-)

The vision of the high mountains of the Andes is impressive. I was there 16 years ago and these "nevados" were the first andean mountains that I knew. A really unforgeteable landscape. Be lucky in your wonderful trip to Tibet... I have never been there but the mountains must be spectacular. Best wishes James.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-08-08 5:41]

Hello James,
What a wonderful dream-like scene in magic light! The glittering water, the dark hills and the majestic mountain range beyond - a superb composition!
Many thanks, Ulla

This is a lovely scenic picture, looks so calm and relaxing, good place to go and contemplate about the world and its beaty, Thankyou, Regards Syed

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