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Bio 22 year old photographer from Minnesota, USA. Currently based in Bozeman, MT.
joesulik (@joesulik) Instagram photos and videos
List of Instagram medias taken by joesulik (@joesulik)
White deer have a special mythology in my family. I grew up hearing stories and having the housed filled with imagery of them, so sharing a few brief moments with this albino white tailed deer in the woods of Minnesota remains one of my most meaningful wildlife encounters.
Now that I’m settled back in Bozeman I’m excited to spend the rest of the summer finding new stories and projects to pursue. I can’t wait to see what this year holds. This particular photo wasn’t taken in Montana however, but in the northern boreal forests of my home in Minnesota. Not baited or called. #ethicalowlphoto
The iconic caballitos de tortoras are an ever-present symbol in the coastal town of Huanchaco. The use and construction of the caballito has scarcely changed over the past few thousand years. Far from just being a beautiful remnant of Pre-Columbian culture however, caballitos de tortoras are highly versatile and efficient vessels that sustain the livelihoods of Huanchaco’s respected fishing families to this day.
While in years passed an average daily catch for a Huanchaco pescador was around 50kg of fish, today a catch of around 3-10kg is common. Local fishermen cite massive commercial fishing operations as the primary cause of the decline, along with climate change and its affect on the El Niño cycle. On rare occasions a massive catch can still be obtained however, in which fishermen’s families and friends will work together on the beach to remove fish from nets, sort them into piles, and clean them on the beach in preparation for being sold in the markets of Huanchaco and Trujillo. White fleshed fish such as sea bass and corvina are made into ceviche, a celebrated Peruvian dish that originated in the town of Huanchaco.
Junior harvests fresh tortora reeds in his family’s wachaque at the northern end of the reed beds. Using a specialized curved blade, he quickly and efficiently forms bundles of reeds, which he binds together with single dried reeds to be transported across the road to his family’s drying area. Tortora reeds require 6-12 months to reach maturity, so each family’s wachaques are carefully tended to to assure that some are always ready to harvest while others regenerate.
A curandero performs a diagnostic procedure in his home in the Andean highland province of Julcán using a cuy (guinea pig). The procedure involves rubbing a live guinea pig all over the exposed skin of a patient, thereby absorbing the energy of the patients body; after which the guinea pig is humanely killed and its entrails are examined to diagnose ailments within the patients mind and body. Much to the surprise of the patient, the curandero’s diagnoses during this procedure were almost spot on.
Over the past two weeks I’ve been in Huanchaco, Peru working on a small project documenting the local subsistence fishermen. The symbol of Huanchaco is the caballito de tortora, traditional reed boats that have barely changed in their use and construction for over 2,000 years. This image was taken a few nights ago during a town festival in which bamboo structures covered in fireworks were lit throughout the night as the whole town celebrated a local saint attributed to the fishermen here.
This is the only image I was able to take of the woodland caribou I was after in the trip described in the last post. I spotted this bull on the sand beach of one of the smaller islands from my canoe and landed as he was already headed into the forest. I was amazed that as I struggled to move through the extremely thick foliage with my camera, this bull seemed to effortlessly navigate the chaos of the forest even despite his antlers.
A couple years ago I chartered a fishing boat to drop me off with my canoe and camera gear on a remote archipelago of islands off the Canadian shores of Lake Superior. I camped for 7 days alone on the islands, searching for the elusive woodland caribou. It was a primordial place, the only trails on the islands were made by herds of caribou that snake through the most dense and diverse boreal forests I had ever witnessed. There are species of plants on the islands that are only found above the Arctic circle, but have persisted there since the last ice age. It was an incredible privilege to spend time in such a wild place, and I can't wait to go back.
There's something about being in dense forests that I crave. The open space that characterizes the west is beautiful, but I'll take the comfort of a dark forest canopy over my head any day.