Category Archives: Photography

Dealing with Darkness, continues.

And, the saga continues…

I do hope it stays that way.

So… It’s evident I’ve been a little bit lost for sure in this endeavor of sharing my experiences and images from that span in time, mostly from November 2016 to March 2017 (if new to this blog, please take a read of Dealing with Darkness, a year later, two years in fact… ). Just as in the first weeks of 2017, this initial part of 2019 has been complicated, not in the same way as 2017 however -even though I haven’t been feeling so good lately- This previous weeks have been swarming with a lot of ideas, tasks of my soon to be released projects, and several decisions to be made.

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To keep telling the story about my struggles with depression and anxiety is one of the most important things in my life, truly!, the thing is that, after the great success of the previous chapter I found myself these weeks in between in kind of a shock and to be honest, I have not been sure about the best way to keep delivering the same level of quality, and also to be honest all the great support I’ve got through the very, very kind words I received in the comments section of the post and other places, while it’s been a great source of light to keep going, it has been also emotionally exhausting (keep that coming though!).

Putting into words my experiences, the things I went through is not easy, it also wasn’t easy the first time I tried to recall the details of things as they really happened and giving them the right order in time so I can explain myself better on how it all happened. I’ve taken a lot for this… well, I think the best way to get it done is by getting to work!

The previous chapter ends with 2016. With the advent of the new year I found myself (still far from recovering) with the will of transcending my mental health issues, to really fight back the demons, to connect deep within with my own light to strike the darkness I was in, to keep the strength to stay alive. The following months however, were not easy as you are about to see.

January.

The first days.

In the start of the year while at the same time I found myself looking hard for my inner strength I was still feeling in me the consequences -physical and psychological- of the darker previous months. I try hard to recognize myself, to plant the seed of a new being.

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The feel of a surrounding deep darkness still holds strong over me very often, the sensations of despair and of being locked inside by life itself is very much present, I wish I could be set free.

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January.

A regime of strenuous physical activity does not keep me from sensing that I’m immersed into a great void, anxiety is still overwhelming at times.

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January, towards the end.

I’m still yearning to find the light of life, some of the images I make are of myself surrounded by lights trying to fight the feel of being tired of living, sometimes I’d just like to say goodbye…

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I’ve used my bicycle for my outings here in the neighborhood for my exercise routines. While recovering from a fall several days ago, watching at the results I cannot help to think that damage to the skin and bones are just piece of cake next to the wounds that pierce the mind and the soul…

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I find myself really frustrated by the fact that being in such a bad need of exercise, having to stay in bed asleep til very late into the day gets in the way far too often, I feel stuck without any progress…

Still, the basic instinct of life makes me keep on fighting.

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February.

Highs and lows.

However I’m eating a lot better than the previous December and November, after several weeks I find my weight has not yet recovered enough, being 1.76m. tall my normal weight sits at around 70 kgs. I know I need to eat a lot better yet, I try, not easy though, my stomach does not agree completely.

Luckily something happens then, a very good friend (one of the very few friends left by now) invites me to go to the beach in there and her mom’s company, it was just for the weekend but the change of environment, exchanging the four walls of my room for the road views along the highway and later the tropical open air, the good company, some hours inside the swimming pool and the Sea are nothing short of nourishing. The most delightful moments are the two mornings I am so lucky to be able to run over the sand at the nearby beach. Finally, being there step by step, hearing my breath along the sound of the waves I feel life inside me again.

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Back at home the nourishing effects of the Sea vanish away soon, but not completely…

 

Film connection.

I know, months ago I had promised not to make a post about photography here, but what can I do?, it’s part of my life.

Before the very tough end of December and almost all January I had some chance to load some film on a camera I had just acquired. Why film?, being used to shooting only digital for almost 12 years, getting back to film requires more attention from my mind, focusing more on what I want to include in the frame and what not, composing better, being more aware of light, being more in the present moment, something that is so refreshing for mind and soul, so good for mental health.

These few images are from the roll I used to test the camera so I was even more concentrated on the things I was doing to get consistent results and to use the most of the camera’s features. Since I haven’t had the chance to travel for several months now, I like to share with you this brief selection, most in line with the theme that gives more joy to my soul, little details of the closest to Nature I have at hand close to home.

If you want to see more of my photography, film or digital, please go to my photography blog.

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The not so diffused picture, my collaboration on Broken Light. 

When images are more than just pretty pictures, and say more than a lot of words.

Don’t you get excited when you or some of your relatives appear on TV??

Well, the following image means a lot to me, it’s my third contribution in the online gallery of the Broken Light Collective!! Let me tell you about it!!

Broken Light Collective is a nonprofit organisation founded in 2012 by Danielle Hark,  that strives to create safe and accepting environments where photographers of all levels who are affected by mental health challenges can display their work, as well as inspire one another to keep going and keep creating, despite the dark or scary places in which they may find themselves. The work of the collective is of trascendental importance towards fighting the stigma commonly associated with mental health issues and all the lack of understanding that surrounds it.

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I’ve been very lucky to have found about this community and get in touch with it, it has made me understand my own situation a little more and look at it from a not so dark a perspective, and helped me to lighten the heavy load of the deep loneliness and suffering I have been immersed into. I feel honoured that my work in images and words has already been featured in the online gallery three times until these day!! It really is so valuable for me to share part of myself with the other members who walk along similar paths.

Here I share my three first entries that are already on Broken Light’s online gallery:

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If there’s anything else I can say is that I’m so grateful with Danielle and all the team at Broken Light Collective for making me part of the community and sharing my thoughts, feelings and photographic work, it represents such an honest support for me!!

To find more about Broken Light Collective’s work and the contributions of the members please visit their website.

Looking back at my Nature images from 2016.

Photographing Nature is some of the most rewarding experiences for me. Throughout the year I make a lot of images, some I like, some not so much, some have a special place in my eyes and in my heart. I like to share with you a selection of some of the ones that have that special place.

Untitledemp_20160311_013emp_20161016_012Agave DephtsIgnitedThrough the deepemp_20160702_088A tear among the veins of lifeemp_20161013_060-editemp_20160626_016emp_20161103_035emp_20161125_051emp_20161104_167Trough giantsemp_20160310_011A forest near Jilotzingo, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

Among trees

A forest near Jilotzingo, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

Walking among trees, again in the quest to remember the very basic breath of life, looking for the essential and struggling to find again myself and my way back out of darkness, trying to understand the wisdom that lies in the forest, breathing deep the cool and fresh air, walking slowly step after step, camera in hand, sometimes raised to my eye, some attempts to interprete the experience in an image, in deep listening, watching the sunlight pass trough the branches and revealing bits of life on the ground, inhaling the greens and the touches of golden light. Yes, it’s something that touches my soul.

A forest near Jilotzingo, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

A forest near Jilotzingo, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

A forest near Jilotzingo, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

A forest near Jilotzingo, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

A forest near Jilotzingo, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

A forest near Jilotzingo, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

A forest near Jilotzingo, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

Touches of sunlight and blue sky.

Today the afternoon greeted the eyes and heart with touches of beautiful sunlight and patches of blue in the sky. So many hours and hours of grey tones, rain and inclement weather set me in low power mode, I need light, a light that does not come enough from humans as it would be nicer lately, light that throws away confusion, light that pierces the veils that blur my senses and feelings. Nature is still providing, gifts like these keep me going, reminders that say that hope is still a valid word.

Tiny, connection through the details in Nature.

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via Photo Challenge: Tiny

Some human beings like myself go through times when we struggle finding the connection with the rest of the people, the rest of the world, the news on the radio, a TV program, reading a magazine, are just confusing echoes of the daily life of the ones free from unveiled chains. The soul burdened with heavy loads looks for the simple closeness to Nature, focusing on the smaller, tiny details help to keep that connection, soothes the spirit, and help to bring some beautiful moments of joy and the feel that life is indeed worth living.

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Oaxaca at the beginning of November.

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Here in Mexico the Day of the Dead celebration is one of the most important throughout the year in all the country. At the city of Oaxaca and its surroundings the “Comparsas” and “Muerteadas”, a sort of parades with people dancing and playing music are full of action, enjoyment and peculiar characters where Catrinas stand out celebrate the duality between life and death, and where homage is paid to the ones that have preceded us in the journey to the other side.

Here I share some images I captured in Oaxaca and the town of Villa Etla the first two days of November hauling around my Fujifilm XT10 and my old and a lot larger Nikon D200 DSLR to evaluate the pros and cons of each camera in the task of documenting the area and the celebrations, kind of street and travel photography style. In following posts I’ll be glad to share more images from these days in Oaxaca.

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Aquí en México la celebración del Día de Muertos es una de las mas importantes del año en todo el país. En la ciudad de Oaxaca y sus alrededores las Comparsas y Muerteadas, suerte de procesiones donde la gente canta y baila están llenas de acción, disfrute y personajes peculiares donde destacan las Catrinas celebran la dualidad entre la vida y la muerte, y donde se rinde homenaje a aquellos que nos precedieron en el viaje al otro lado.

Aquí les comparto algunas de las imágenes que capté en Oaxaca y Villa Etla los primeros d0s días de noviembre trayendo de acá para allá mi Fujifilm XT10 y mi vieja y mucho mas grande DSLR D200 de Nikon para evaluar los pros y contras de cada cámara en la tarea de documentar la zona y sus celebraciones algo mas al estilo de la fotografía de calle y de viajes. En publicaciones subsecuentes tendré el gusto de compartir mas imágenes de éstos días en Oaxaca.

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Early morning light giving life to the architecture of the city of Oaxaca, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

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Day of the dead celebrations in the streets of Oaxaca, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

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Day of the dead celebrations in the streets of Oaxaca, Mexico. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

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Characters at the Muerteadas, Day of the dead celebrations. Villa Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico. November 2016. Eduardo Mendoza.

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Characters at the Muerteadas, Day of the dead celebrations. Villa Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico. November 2016. Eduardo Mendoza.

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Characters at the Muerteadas, Day of the dead celebrations. Villa Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico. November 2016. Eduardo Mendoza.

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Characters at the Muerteadas, Day of the dead celebrations. Villa Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico. November 2016. Eduardo Mendoza.

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Characters at the Muerteadas, Day of the dead celebrations. Villa Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico. November 2016. Eduardo Mendoza.

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Grasshoppers are some of the insects harvested from the fields of Mexico to serve as food, here, sold at the market of Oaxaca. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

Pan de Yema, Oaxaca.

A special kind of bread is made for the Day of the Dead celebrations at the beggining of November in Oaxaca, Mexico, called “pan de yema” or yolk bread, made all year, but decorated with the tiny faces and shaped like people is only made for this ocassion. Market of Oaxaca. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

Pan de Yema, Oaxaca.

A special kind of bread is made for the Day of the Dead celebrations at the beggining of November in Oaxaca, Mexico, called “pan de yema” or yolk bread, made all year, but decorated with the tiny faces and shaped like people is only made for this ocassion. Market of Oaxaca. November 2016. ©Eduardo Mendoza.

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Starting November in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Last monday night I took off to see and photograph some aspects of Oaxaca in Mexico focusing on some aspects of the Day of the Dead celebrations, or as we call it here in Mexico, Dia de Muertos. I’ve just had the chance of posting a few images on instagram and my facebook fanpage, now I’m working on the full bunch of photos in Lightroom, so soon I’ll have some on display here, in the meantime I like to share with you the lovely light and colours that shine early on that magical city.

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Fujifilm Photowalk with X-Photographers John Rourke and Jeff Carter

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Sometimes using a specific brand of camera can lend very nice opportunities. Here in Mexico the users of Fujifilm X-Series cameras have a Facebook group, FujiX meXico where we share images made with our cameras, information about cameras, lenses and profiles of noteworthy Fuji X users, and interact with other members of the community. From time to time some of us gather to go for a walk with our cameras, which is very rewarding, chatting in person, meeting other members, sharing tips on the go.

Recently the X-Photographer John Rourke announced on the group he was coming to Mexico to photograph the action at an important race and that we wanted to meet the people from the group, Fuji X users. When he got here together with Jeff Carter, also an X-Photographer, Jaime Pastelin founder of FujiX meXico invited them to get along with him and some members of the group to take a walk around downtown Mexico City and later to visit the center of Coyoacan during the afternoon. I had the chance to join them just before they headed to Coyoacan and while on the road and later I really enjoyed talking and and sharing very nice moments making images along with them, testing the new and amazing X-T2 and the very nice optics of the XF 16-55mm F2.8 on my own XT10, all while walking around, from next to the fountain of Coyotes to the food market and having several stops in the middle.

What was evident to me from the first moment, besides gear and making photos, is the human qualities in both of them, willing to share their what they have as photographers and as great guys who sincerely appreciate life and the places and people they get to know while traveling around the world.

Here are some of the moments of that afternoon, thanks to FujiX meXico, and thanks John, Jeff and Jaime!!!

 

Tour y taller fotográfico en San Joaquín, Sierra Gorda de Querétaro, 21 al 23 de octubre 2016.

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La Sierra Gorda de Querétaro es una región llena de belleza natural, en ella se encuentran muy variados ecosistemas y su paisaje ofrece muy singulares vistas. Los senderos y parajes próximos al pueblo de San Joaquín invitan a recorrerlos descubriendo a cada paso detalles dignos de ser contemplados y su gente conocedora de la región nos regala sus misterios. Esto y mas ofrece innumerables oportunidades para todos aquellos que disfrutan de viajar y conocer siempre con su cámara en mano.

Te invito a recorrer y disfrutar de las maravillas de la Sierra Gorda y acercarte a las posibilidades que da la fotografía en esta bella región de México! En un fin de semana tomando como base un bello parque asentado entre las colinas recorreremos los alrededores admirando y fotografiando el paisaje y los detalles naturales. Aprenderemos a entender mas del lenguaje fotográfico, la luz, la composición y el uso de la cámara. Si el cielo se porta amable con nosotros podremos retratar el cielo nocturno, y a la mañana siguiente estaremos listos para contemplar el amanecer después de una noche de merecido descanso en cabañas con todas las comodidades o al estilo mas natural en tienda de campaña.

Entre sesión y sesión podremos degustar la comida regional preparada con esmero en el comedor del parque, y tomar descansos para convivir, platicar de fotografía o simplemente contemplar el entorno.

Esta aventura

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Itinerario:

Viernes por la noche y/o sábado a las 9:30:

Llegada al parque.

Sábado:

Desayuno y bienvenida.

Sesión de campo: caminata en los alrededores del parque, fotografía macro, paisaje.

Comida.

Sesión de campo: paisaje, atardeceres.

Merienda.

Sesión de Fotografía nocturna.

Domingo:

Sesión al amanecer, paisaje, detalles naturales.

Almuerzo.

Sesión de salón, muestra del material de los asistentes, crítica constructiva, preguntas y respuestas.

Regreso.

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Equipo necesario:

No es necesario que tu cámara sea profesional, se pueden hacer buenas imágenes en muchas situaciones con cámaras compactas y celulares con buena cámara, así que trae tu cámara digital réflex o mirrorles, cámara compacta, iPhone o por el estilo. Si cuentas con lentes intercambiables, tráetelos!!, angular, telefoto y macro muy adecuados.

Tripié si cuentas con uno.

Ropa y calzado cómodo, vestido por capas para las sesiones nocturna y del amanecer.

Lámpara, preferible frontal a una de mano.

Repelente de insectos, bloqueador solar.

Mochila ligera para los recorridos.

Gorra o sombrero, chamarra.

Equipo de acampar si optas por esa opción de hospedaje.

 

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Costos por persona:

Opción 1: con hospedaje en cabaña para 2 o 4 personas con todas las comodidades, $1850.00

Opción 2: con hospedaje en tienda de campaña: $1500.00

Incluye:

Tour fotográfico de dos días, recorridos por el parque, asesoría fotográfica, 4 alimentos (desayuno, comida y cena del sábado, almuerzo del domingo, todos cocina típica de la región), y una noche de hospedaje.

Noche extra en cabaña: 450.00

Noche extra en acampada: 120.00

Nota: No incluye transporte.

 

Te esperamos en la Sierra Gorda!!!

Contacto en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EduardoMendozaDocumentaryPhotography/

Mail: lalomendoza@mac.com