We want to paint it all with a broad brush, taking long shots of the sea, the beach...maybe the bar. Look, Facebook friends, I am here!—we want them to see as much as possible in one or two photos. About as close to details we come is when we take pictures of the people we're sharing that experience with. And too many of those are taken quite spontaneously, with no regard for a background that might impart even the slightest notion of specifically where we are.
I've finally come to realize...why the question, "Want to see our vacation photos?" elicits more lame excuses than "Can you help us move?"
A SENSE OF PLACE
Believe me, I've taken hundreds of exactly that kind of photo. But I've finally come to realize—most often weeks later when I show them to someone else—why the question, "Want to see our vacation photos?" elicits more lame excuses than "Want to help me move?" The reason? Most of those images have no soul.
So in recent years, though I still shoot the occasional "look where I am and who's with me here" landscape and portrait, I've found myself drawn to more subjects I hope will capture a deeper sense of place and culture.
Here are some of those soul shots I've taken this month in and around Zihuatanejo. Images capturing very specific places—some of them no bigger than a square foot; the colors, shapes and patterns of a natural environment and a culture. And people—most often not posing, but captured at play or on the job, perhaps in a happy or pensive or poignant moment.
If you're still with me to this point, I think you can tell that, every year, I leave more here in this lovely town than a chunk of dinero; I also leave a piece of my heart.
|The Holy Week crowd of Mexican tourists begins on Playa La Ropa|
|Yeah! Maybe that older guy with the limp and the camera!|
|Up and away!|
|The breezy colors of la Calle Adelita|
|Sign-painting crew about to add sponsors' logos to firemen tribute|
|To every season...even if it's only two|
|Still life with fertility goddess & re-bar|
|Proud mamá and her beautiful little girl|
|Sí, I am zi one zat inspired Godzilla|
|She's kept an eye out for fashion trends along Juan Alvarez for nearly a decade.|
|Entrance to the Vega household|
|One of Zihuatanejo's excellent strolling minstrels - a dying breed|
|Yellow-Crowned Night Heron|
|Who is this young man whose passport photo settled into this crude stairway?|
|Fish guts - one of Zihuatanejo's many stunning murals|
|Banded Peacock - Anartia fatima|