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This week, we’re featuring an amazing travel story from film photographer Christopher Godley. Christopher traveled to the Amazon jungle and captured the richness of the rainforest and its villages on 35mm film. Here is more from Christopher about his adventure…
When my plane started its descent into Leticia, Colombia and broke through the clouds for the first time over the Amazon Jungle, I was overwhelmed with excitement and wonder. Looking out over an endless expanse of green, I thought back to a time growing up when I would read in books and magazines about a place that seemed worlds away and lost in time.
In many ways, that remains true in the more remote areas of the jungle. That said, I knew the area I was visiting had a local population just like anywhere else in the world that interacts with, and depends on, that endless expanse every day.
The Tres Fronteras (Three Borders) region is where the Amazon River creates a natural border between Peru to the west and Colombia and Brazil to the east.
What I discovered about the region is that the cities and villages have a life and a culture uniquely their own, with enough space between them to feel lost in the jungle or on the café con leche waters of the river itself. The Jungle, the River, and the local population coexist in a way that allows the other two a life of their own while also working in concert and harmony with each other.
My intention was to capture this balance in the images I made.
I fully intended on shooting with two cameras. Fuji 400h in my Nikon FG, and JCH Street Pan in my Yashica Electro 35 CC. Upon my arrival, the Nikon wasn’t functioning because of a bad battery, so I was stuck with the Yashica.
The heat, humidity, as well as my itinerary, would surely be a test for the little rangefinder. I had my doubts, but it proved to be unstoppable.
Through miles of rainforest, the busy streets of three countries, multiple stops along the river, and a never ending supply of straight jungle mud, the 50 year old Yashica stepped up and performed in unforgiving conditions. The pairing of the Yashica glass with the Fuji pastels ended up being a beautiful combination of contrast and saturated tones.