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Queens Chronicle

Photographers show works from Chile

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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 10:37 am, Thu May 24, 2012.

Twelve LaGuardia Community College photography students conquered volcanos, survived their ship capsizing and have the stunning photographs to show for it. On Monday half the group shared the behind the scenes photos — pictures of friends and finished works that didn’t quite make it into the show — of their month long trip to Chile.

“I learned about patience, perseverance and team work,” Sebastian Loaya, from Long Island City, said. “We learned how to turn hard moments into a nice experience.”

The speakers on Monday, spoke of tough treks and miserable weather, but they also made lasting friendships and kept their humor.

“There’s lots of wildlife — not just pigeons,” said Ronald Gahol, of Jamaica, whose work focused on different buildings caught his eye. Many of the photos in the exhibit captured the ravaged houses near Chaiten Volcano, which erupted in 2008.

He said not only was this the town where the group first slept inside, but also where they “found solace.” For the most part, these photographers slept in tents even during heavy deluges.

The 80-photo exhibit will run through June 30 on the third floor of building B at the Long Island City college. The photographers’ works range in style.

Loaya photos are predominately nudes. His artist statement said the nudes were a reaction to being raised in a conservative society and to canned bodytypes the public is fed through the media.

“I don’t have a casting call. These are the people that surround us in our daily lives — friends and family,” he said.

Felipe Vasquez, of Ridgewood, brought various costumes to Chile, while there he produced several dramatic self portraits while wearing these costumes. (Some outfits were lost in the ship wreck.)

Susan Bibula, of Ridgewood, paired portraits of people with a landscape or a detailed photo. River Soma’s works often combines two photos on one print — often of food. Soma’s goal for the trip was to build her portfolio as a food and travel photographer.

“We ate mussels roasted on the open fire — they will rock your world,” Soma said.

Two videos were also created. One video which combined stills, with footage set to music and interviews.

The group flew to Chile on Jan. 16 as part of the college’s first abroad program.

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