Plaza de Armas, Cusco

I remember the first time I entered into the plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru.  I was riding a taxi from the bus terminal and I asked the driver if he would pass through the plaza on the way.  As the car entered into the square I felt as though I was stepping back in time.  Finally I was setting my eyes upon a city that I had read so much about in my history books and school textbooks.  I remember looking up at the hills and thinking that is where the Inca leaders must have once held camp preparing to try to retake the city.  I remember looking at the church and knowing that great pre-Colombian temples sit below it.  I couldn’t help but bear a feeling of “wow, I’ve finally made it.”  I’ve been to Cusco about 10-12 times now, but for whatever reason this photo always brings me back to that moment of feeling so awe struck by the fact that “I am really in Cusco, Peru.”  For that, I love this picture as much as any I’ve ever taken.


Plaza de Armas, Cusco

The Shot

The photo of the plaza in Cusco was taken from my old 100$ point an shoot camera which lends proof that you don’t need a great camera to get really good images.  It’s more about the eye and the effort.  I mentioned a couple of photos ago that on of the most important photography tips you can learn is to change the eye level of the shot.  I showed the image before which I had taken from very low.  This is the opposite.  I went up to one of the restaurants and ordered a beer while I took pictures from the great vantage point.  Regardless of whether you shoot from low or high, you’ll notice good results shooting from eye levels not seen by the naturally wandering eye.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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  1. Lovely photo; really like the colours! Nature co-operated with you, too – I think the clouds add an atmosphere of mystery and expectation, as if something interesting is about to happen.

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    • Thanks Sophie, I totally agree with you. When I saw the clouds I ran up to the restaurant to snap the pics. Great clouds make all the difference in photography don’t they?

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  2. I remember when I first walked through this plaza!! It’s such a great feeling when you arrive at a destination you’ve seen so many pictures of and have read so much about. I think the altitude kind of adds to the ‘great’ feeling! haha

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