Fine Art Photography Friday is here again and this week I have another fine art image from my series in Mexico. As many of my readers know, I am a San Antonio based wedding photographer but I love both documentary photography and fine art photography. Every chance that I get away from my wedding photography business I use to take either documentary photography or fine art photography images. In fact, I combine both of these in my fine art documentary wedding photography images. That is one of the reasons why I decided to become a wedding photographer.
The image above is from my trip to Mexico where I spent time in the little town of San Cristobal de Las Casas and then spent a week living with a local family out in the jungles of Chiapas. You can read more about this adventure in my post, “Fine Art Photography Friday – Mexico.” I originally went to San Cristobal to take a documentary photography workshop with Craig “Cisco” Dietz. Craig was a photographer and artist in Los Angeles who moved to San Cristobal about 20 years ago. Craig runs a photography workshop called Aper Tours. He is a great teacher and I highly recommend studying any type of photography with him. His workshops at the time that I traveled to Mexico were small, with 3 people maximum. The week that I was there I was the only one so I had a one-on-one experience and was able to stay with him and his wife in their house. That week was more like hanging out with an old friend then a workshop. Craig and I traveled around the countryside, we photographed some projects together, and then I was out on my own photographing most of the time.
I was shooting medium format black and white film using a pair of Mamiya 645 cameras. There may seem like an odd choice for a documentary photographer, but they are pretty compact cameras and I wanted to have a larger negative to give me better quality prints. I processed all of the black and white film while I was at Craig’s home/studio in his nice darkroom, and made some contact sheets and prints. I liked going the nostalgic route of shooting film instead of digital. It just seemed to fit the older lifestyle of the places that I was exploring.
For the image above I went out right around sunrise to roam the streets and to look for interesting subjects for images. This is what is known as reportage style. One of my favorite reportage photographers is Andre Kertesz. You should definitely check out his work. He has been a great influence on me and my photography. As I was wandering the streets I noticed this beautiful old stucco wall. The wall itself was interesting and I took several images of it, but I felt that the photographs were missing something. That was a human element. So following the lead of Henri Cartier-Bresson, I waited for something or someone interesting to come into my frame. I just sat down on the curb across the street from the wall and waited. After about 15 minutes I saw a man pushing a cleaning cart down the street who was heading into my frame. I just waited until the precise moment and created the image above. Patience will always pay off, so be patient.
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