River People of Patagonia – A Photoessay by Hugh Small (1975)

In my line of work, research, I often fall into amazing things on the magical interweb. This photo essay by Hugh Small from 1975 is one of those things. The beautiful people of Patagonia mixed with such a gorgeous soft pallet of colours was a welcome delight during a hard day of fact finding. Shot on the Nikkor Calypso, an underwater camera designed by the one and only Jacques Cousteau and Nikon this thing is an absolute beauty but a bit of a beast as you can see below.

Calypso Nikkor underwater camera on Etsy. www.etsy.com/uk/listing/37724599/nikonos-1-camera-1963


Fishing companions, 1975
A settler’s cabin, Lago Vargas, 1975. This house later burned down. In 2006, the little girl was working in the supermarket at Tortel …
On the river, 1975. For days this young local man and I rowed down the river. It seemed like a ‘Huck and Tom’ adventure.
Marvellous Ektachrome! Calypso Nikkor underwater camera; manual settings with no exposure meter. Coyhaque: view from the mirador, 1975 The hillsides today are covered with what look like industrial conifer plantations.


The colours you get from film just can’t be replicated in digital and the Ektachrome film he used really is stunning. This is the sort of photo essay that makes me want to get out and shoot some more film. Planning on developing some of my 35mm film this evening from Expired Film Day 2016, fingers crossed I don’t ruin it all.

There are many more over on his website here.