Photographing the Chilean Coast Through a Prism of Immensity and Time

My name is Esteban Amaro, and I am a photographer based in Santiago, Chile. Litoral de los Poetas (“Coast of the Poets”) is a photography series of mine that was born in the year 2017 and continues until today, traveling to the area of the coast of central Chile that has been home to the great and late Chilean poets Vicente Huidobro, Pablo Neruda, Nicanor Parra and more.

I traveled from Mirasol to Santo Domingo in a search to portray the central Chilean coast with the premise of capturing the immensity and time as protagonists of the series.

There is the sea
From one wave to the other there is the time of life
From its waves to my eyes there is the distance of death.
Fragment of Monument to the Sea, Vicente Huidobro

A father and son’s quest to contemplate and photograph these unique moments; a flock of birds flying towards the horizon or a boat barely visible in the mist, the experiences we had together conveyed a sublime, calm and nostalgic feeling.

Now this series has taken on an even deeper meaning, recently my father passed away and he rests in the same seas we traveled together when we took these photos.

This was the genesis of my artistic photographic work; I understood that, as Luigi Ghirri said, you have to see simple things in a whole different light.

One of the keys to capturing these photographs was the date and time — these places are usually full of people in the summer. On the contrary, in these photos, we see them in silence. At around 5 a.m. we began moving to arrive first to the locations to appreciate the vast and idyllic landscape.

During cold mornings, the air full of water and salt particles, with the heavy fog changing constantly, created a unique atmosphere, diffuse and at the same time with the ability to put focus on the subjects that appear to be floating in a neutral light, allowing us to see the beauty in simplicity.

Poetic and pictorial, the photos feel like a story or a poem, wanting to leave a trace, a legacy that emphasizes the fundamentals of life and the connection with water and nature.

A diffuse mirror of light and water, the current, the time, a flock of birds, the coastal edge layers, make up the peaceful series together with the waves that lash gently but constantly as the hours pass, day after day, from the beginning to the end of the times.

In memory of Juan Alejandro Amaro Ulloa (1947-2019).

About the author: Esteban Amaro is a photographer and visual artist based in Santiago, Chile. You can find more of his work on his website, Twitter, and Instagram. Amaro also sells his images as limited edition prints and NFTs.