American Nomad
Larry Dale Gordon

Self-portrait - La Paz, Bolivia - 1976
3. Self-portrait - La Paz, Bolivia - 1976
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I was on assignment with Jim Woodman, dashing through several countries of South America in his own inimitable style, including Bolivia's altiplano, which is very high in altitude. The airport lies at something like 12,000 feet, and when you deplane, men are waiting with stretchers and oxygen bottles for those passengers who keel over at the lack of solid air to breath! Fortunately, I didn't embarrass myself with any such actions. Even the hotel rooms have small personal oxygen bottles. You have to sleep on your right side, because if you try to sleep on your left, your heart, struggling for air, keeps you awake with its pounding! I swore I would never go back, and I haven't to this day. I don't think Jim has, either, and he is a South American expert. I did love the light, so brilliant, with a clarity found nowhere else that I have been. And the indigenous Indians are both handsome and historically fascinating. This shot is one of many self-portraits I have taken over the years in distant locations. Because I do not enjoy being in front of the camera, this is another alternative. It is my best side!
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