Three photographs of Santiago de Chile by night from a hotel rooftop.

Santiago de Chile’s lights from the top of the W hotel
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Santiago de Chile’s lights from the top of the W hotel
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Santiago de Chile’s lights from the top of the W hotel

I’ve seen lots of night-time cities and when I pulled these up on the computer I assumed they’d be throw-aways. But they looked different from any other city lights I’ve shot at and I kept going back to them, finding Santiago oddly graceful for reasons I can’t express well; I may blow a few up on big pieces of paper to post on a wall for a while. They’re not exactly true-to-life, I cranked the color saturation a little and the exposure quite a bit, but I think I was making the city look the way it really does only more so.

I said “Santiago de Chile” because I notice the Chileans do too, quite a bit; for example, the airport code is SCL. I asked why and they said it was to distinguish it from Santiago de Cuba.

Did I say it was from on top of a hotel? Not just any hotel, but the W. My relationship with the W hotels is complex; they are actually pretty comfy, but the self-conscious hipness makes me want to puke. They have magazines in the rooms I stay in exclusively featuring people I’ve never heard of. We ate at the Santiago franchise’s Peruvian/Japanese fusion restaurant and it did well with both ceviche and hamachi nigiri, and that’s a good thing. But the lobby was so extravagantly with-it that I felt inadequate while doing email on their free WiFi.

Anyhow, we came back to the hotel after relaxing and enjoying at Tiramisú and noticed that there was a rooftop bar. So we went up there and resolutely ignored the über-hip crowd as they ignored our Googley T-shirts and backpacks and electronics-laden vests and (in my case) battered fedora.

But I have to say, Santiago looks pretty good at night.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Porta (Nov 17 2010, at 03:49)

Maybe what make them special are all those "dark spots" without any lights.

It's the empty space that help the other lights to stand out.

Same as whitespace in a page layout.



From: MM (Nov 17 2010, at 08:06)

Those dark spots are "cerros" ... an interesting geographical characteristic of the city. Despite being surrounded by the sharp inclines of the Andes and the coastal range to the west, the city of Santiago is relatively flat, EXCEPT for the cerros, which rise up in contrast like mini mountains of wilderness in the middle of urban sprawl. Go up the cerros at night if you can and see the lights from that angle!


From: mtupper (Nov 19 2010, at 08:20)


I was great meeting you down here in SCL. I hope next time you plan an excursion to Viña/Valparaíso, it really is special and it's quite popular with photographers as well for its uniqueness.




From: David Jack Wange Olrik (Nov 20 2010, at 16:12)

If you have the time you should go to Cerro San Cristóbal - There you'll get a complete view of the city from above. It's quite amazing!


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November 16, 2010
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