Category Archives: San Miguel

Only the shadow knows

Can you tell I’m having fun revisiting my San Miguel trip in 2006?  Sometimes its not necessary to include the actual subject.  In the case of the lead image, I excluded it and photographed just the shadow.  I like the simple graphic created by the color and shadow.  In the image below, I included both the lamp and shadow.  And much like the recent discussion about what to include and not include, I decided to include just a bit of the door and feature the lamp and shadow.

Also posted in Color, Creative

Sometimes you have to get up early.

Yet another from San Miguel.  This wonderful scene is right off of the Jardin.  Normally this is a very busy area bustling with people, however, if you get up early you can capture this type of scene.  I was careful in my composition, making sure I lined the lamps up and framed everything within the arch.  All who got up early that day were happy they did!

Also posted in Color

When You See Red….

While in the San Miguel folder looking through old images, I stumbled upon this beautiful little girl.  Talk about a scene that screams to be photographed?!?!?  She could not have been a better model.  So patient as about 5 of us huddled around her snapping away.  The moral of this post is, if you see red, shoot it.  Red is bold and dramatic.  Add to that a beautiful girl in a doorway and you have magic!

Also posted in Color

From Handshakes to Hugs!


Yesterday, I spoke about moving beyond the handshake shot.  Today, I thought I’d add a few more examples.  Remember yesterday, I suggested you might ask yourself questions like, do I need the whole bench?  Well?  You decide (see examples below)   And then there is the lead image, excluding the bench all together.  Personally, I don’t think any of these alternate images are terrible.  They each have interest and are what you might call tidy compositions.  Part of the benefit of taking some time, slowing down and asking questions, is that you are discovering what it is YOU like about the scene you’ve chosen to photograph.  By moving around, changing your perspective, changing your lens, waiting for different light, etc, etc, you are “seeing” your subject in new ways.  By the end of the time spent, you will have moved beyond the handshake to a hug!

 And here is another take on including both of the benches…


Also posted in Color, Essence, Inspiration

Thinking beyond the handshake – San Miguel

Still sorting through old images and having fun.  This is a favorite from my 2006 trip to San Miguel Mexico.  Unfortunately, it pains me to say, the bench and Bougainvillea are no longer there.  I learned this when I was there late in 2011.  So sad, as this was such a wonderful scene.  

Each time I review San Miguel images, I can’t help but think of my friend and mentor Nancy Rotenberg.  It was Nancy that taught me about the handshake shot and how to move beyond it.  Essentially when we approach a scene, our first image is much like a handshake.  When we meet someone, we don’t know much about them. We shake hands and say, hi how are you or good to meet you.   It is only after we’ve spent some time and asked questions that we begin to learn about them.  Then we typically see them in a very different light.  Photography is much the same.  When we first arrive at a scene we don’t really know much about it.  We know we’re attracted to something but need to figure out what. We then take a handshake shot and just as with people, some move on and thats it.  It would be better at this point to ask some questions. Questions like, what is it about this scene that I like?  What kind of light do I have?  Would it be better in different light?   In the case of this specific image, I might ask, do I need the entire church?  Do I need the entire bench?   I think you get the idea.  Essentially you are getting to know your subject by spending time with it and being thoughtful.  I promise, as you do this, your images will improve and you will typically find more than one right answer.  I add the vertical version below as proof!  

Also posted in Color, Essence, Inspiration, Nancy Rotenberg