Tag Archives: Street photography

Almost normal. The struggle of going out.

Almost normal, like the life of everyone else.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be saying this, should I?

Mind and body playing tricky games with me lately, many of the things that should be on track are stuck, holidays are over, so the machine should be on full throttle right? Even here on the blog some posts should be already published by now, and they’re still pending… Inspiration, concentration, focus, energy, not very much on my side lately.

Now to the point.

Solitude, which turns into loneliness easily is something my psycho doc and my therapist have told me to strongly avoid. The latter has said: “don’t get locked at home, go out with some friends, to the movies, to museums, for a walk at a nice park…”. The idea is not bad at all, not so practical though: closer to where I live aside a few shopping malls there’s not much action, for that the Centro Historico (Downtown), Coyoacan or the areas between and close around from there are the way to go; talking about culture and art this area nearby is metaphorically speaking, dead really.

Not only that, I used to go to train rope access techniques one, two, or even three times weekly, the place is across the city from home, which can take, making use of suburban bus and subway, on the short, at least 1:45 hours, on the long, close to 3 hours!

I did it for years, never reluctantly, never feeling public transportation was not good enough for me, going training or other places, by myself.

Since late November 2016, for those who haven’t read about it here on this blog, when that bad depression and anxiety relapse came, the first months I remained locked at home with the exception of going with the doctor or the therapist, by car or with the aid of Uber once, just a few subway stations, picked up by friends and family on the way home. A couple of months later the idea of getting into the subway was still not pleasing at all, but I had to anyway.

Long before the darkest months, more than a year I think, taking the subway meant a small degree of uneasy, kind of anxious sensations, something to deal with… After the falling though it turned into a dark, confusing experience, a sordid trail. The long waits for the train to arrive, minute after minute after minute of facing somber thoughts and anxiety while surrounded, pushed, crushed by human masses, loud, really loud noises, the overwhelming load of people coming and going, chatting here and there, guys with huge loudspeakers selling “music”… unbearable cacophony…

Some degree of recovery has allowed me to go inside the dark alleys again but the fact is that getting in there is still not nice at all for me, so I try not to take the plunge that route. For months I’ve stayed at home most of the days, for me going out is a possibility of finding restlessness and exposing myself to very stressful moments, wether facing the city traffic while driving or making use of the “Metro” as we call Mexico City’s subway the sensory overload is something I’m not so used to anymore. In fact some have invited me to join them going making photos, to chat for a few hours or the like and I’ve had to decline more than once since the experience is not pleasing for me, nor is very healthy.

For long I’ve wanted to share this very short series of images of what that experience has been for me. I carry a camera almost everywhere I go, images are an easier way for me to communicate what I feel or think so I portrayed some of those anguishing moments months ago. The images are from February 2016.

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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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Surprise

Note: Sometimes computers, bits and bytes don’t get work well together, last night I finished this post and hit the publish button on the visual editor, this following morning I just found out it was not published, my apologies for this interruption of my month of posting every day, anyway here it is, thanks!!

 

If there is something special and distinctive about the Fujifilm X100 series since it was introduced to the photography world, besides its gorgeous retro looks is that it’s a camera really well suited for street photography. It became evident when a lot of photographers began publishing their experiences using it on the streets, and the loads of images flooded on Flickr, Instagram and other social outlets where scenes of everyday urban life, peculiar moments or interesting people were portrayed in colour or B&W.

All of this street photo “boom” awoke in me the itch about experimenting more the streets with a camera, I had previously photographed on the streets but mostly around special events, parades, festivals or even a manifestation against some social issues. This was done first with a Nikon DSLR and later with my Nikon 1 mirrorless camera, which of course made it a lot easier, carrying less weight and being more inconspicuous.

When I got my X100S, I started making photos of several different subjects, but taking it to the street just for the sake of capturing it in camera did not come so soon, perhaps because I hadn’t got the hang of it to react as quickly as I wanted, and also because I didn’t feel comfortable enough to deal with pointing the lens at strangers, which still happens to me sometimes by the way. Finally I did make some images more in the way I liked with more or less success, sometimes capturing something interesting.

Having reviewed my early work with the X100S I believe this is my first “true” street photo, no so well technically or compositionally executed, but I hope it has something peculiar or interesting about it.

Surprise