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Photo-Essay: Medellin Barrio in Black & White

Colombia barrio people black and white

Carlos and Luis taking a few photographs of kids asking us what we are doing there

I was told about a gringo who had built a program for displaced families in the mountains surrounding Medellin, Colombia called Angeles de Medellin.  The friend said it was a great place to volunteer and maybe photograph.

Once I finally got in touch with Mark he invited me out to the mountain, where he has been working.  He explained that the area was very poor and there wasn’t much infrastructure there but the people were friendly and there would be no issues what-so-ever with my camera gear being out.  He said all I had to do when walking around the village was tell them I was with him and no one would bother me.

The name of the place is Regalo De Dios and it’s in Bello, Colombia (about 15 minutes outside of Medellin)

I invited a couple other photographers with me (Carlos and Luis who helped me with the Help-Portrait Project) but to be honest we had a goal for the day there.  Our goal was to look around, scout the area and see if it would be a good place to do a photo project for Christmas.  More to come on that later this week but it’s safe to say we’re on and it’s going to be great!

So we walked around a few hours taking pictures and talking with the locals.  Most of these people have nothing, seriously nothing.  House are made with scraps they can find, a covered roof made of tin is a luxury and running water is unheard of for most.  That being said, we found people so giddy happy and very open to talk.  I don’t remember not seeing a smile every time we walked by a new house.

Below was what I captured and will give you a glimpse of what I got to see that day.  These are all in Black & White but will post later photos in color and more about Mark.

Colombia barrio people black and white

Colombia barrio people black and white

This women was burning trash on the street.  She laughed when we photographed her because she couldn’t figure out why anyone would want her photo while she burned trash.  I think the photo says why!

Colombia barrio people black and whiteColombia barrio people black and white

The old lady was so proud of her AM/FM radio

barrio people cowboy old men

A Paisa cowboy!Colombia barrio people black and white

These kids were in a shanty house that was being used as a daycare

Colombia barrio people kids children Paisa

The kids really got a kick out of us stopping by and taking photos of them.  All giggles when we showed them the LCD screen afterwards!Colombia barrio people kids children PaisaColombia barrio people kids children PaisaColombia barrio people old men paisa

A man has a typical Paisa meal on the street next to his house, two little girls playing with an umbrella on their porch and an old man stopped and let us take his portrait.  He only asked for a copy and will be printing him a copy for sure next time I go and visit. 

Colombia barrio people kids children PaisaColombia barrio people kids children PaisaColombia barrio people kids children Paisa


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  • Andi Perullo

    Absolutely amazing! I didn’t want the photos to end.

  • Sam Kynman-Cole

    Great portrait captures. Really like how you’ve put crops beside the larger photo occasionally to focus on an aspect – it works really well

  • information technology

    beautiful pic

  • jaipur property dealer

    i love it this blog

  • cheap flights to kinshasa

    Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.

  • Anonymous

    What beautiful photographs.  The people’s faces are so expressive.

  • TheWorldOrBust

    Great captures!

  • Marc G.

    Damn, using the color for the umbrella really makes that picture.  

  • Alan Malarkey

    Some very striking images, thanks

  • Dayna and Kurt

    Absolutely stunning photos… expressions you captured are priceless!

  • Nomadic Samuel

    Mate, as usual, great story-telling photos :)

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  • ExpertVagabond

    Looking forward to seeing more! Great shots.

  • Linda

    Somehow I think these are likely to be best in black and white. Excellent, well done!

  • Bali Villa Holidays

    Though when you can actually see the true colored background and the reflected poverty on this area, the true meaning of life are reflected in their faces. Even they live in a tough life and environment, there’s no reason stopping them to make colorful stories out of it. Just seeing this black and white photos of their faces tells a lot already.

  • Will – Gap Daemon

    Fuck I want to go to Colombia bad. Like I’d prostitute my arsehole to all and sundry bad. These photos are stunning. I’m going to walk around Madrid today dreaming that it’s Medellin. 

    Nice work Troy.

  • Jodi E.

    Gorgeous portraiture Troy! I spent only a day in Medellin (as you know – great BBQ that eve!) but I never saw it this way – really wonderful photos.

  • foggodyssey

    Well if you ever get to come back and spend more time here, I think it’s safe to say you know enough people who can help guide you on any questions! 😉

  • foggodyssey

    Hey I hear Madrid is nice, would love to go there myself someday!  Medellin isn’t going anywhere, it awaits for you, hopefully arshole still virgin! lol

  • foggodyssey

     Thanks, maybe I should try that more often to put a different perspective on things. :)

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