Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Photographer's Paradise


I watch them, the photographers who come to San Miguel.  They want to capture the "light", kinda like I did in Paris.  They want the buildings, the sunsets, the street vendors, the festivals.  It's a rhapsody for them with the crescendo being that one favorite photo that speaks to their heart and photographic talent.

For me, although I certainly don't consider myself a photographer but rather a picture taker, I like the everyday things.  I swear just walking down the hill, I see scads of opportunities for photos everywhere that I look.  In fact, I make myself stop and just enjoy without photographing many times.

Just the other day, I walked into the jardin to see the scene of the painters refreshing the side of the colonial building in close proximity to the Parroquia.  I had to sit down on the wall around the jardin to just watch this feat of balance and agility.

The wooden ladders sway as the men climb them.  They do go carefully.  For me, it would never be carefully enough.  It's like being at the circus watching the guys on the highwire.  Sheesh, it's scary.

First they scrape the building and then, by law, they must apply cal, which is an ancient formula, to the surface and then the paint.  Yup, by law, they have to apply cal.  I presume this is an old law.

It will take days if not weeks to paint the side of this building, four men at a time.

Then, as I got up off the wall and turned the corner toward the Parroquia, the hat vendor was taking a break from selling his hats and bracelets.  He was taking time to read the paper.  People often say that Mexicans don't read, but I often see them with small books tucked in their pockets or taking time, while eating their lunch, to read.  In fact, when I gave books to the primary school years ago, they were so proud that they set up a special room and then invited me over to see what they had accomplished.  I was very touched.  I continue to provide books to that school and to my grandchildren, of course.  Reading to me is a poor man's way of seeing the world.  I've been a reader since I was a small child.  I always had a book stuck in front of me.  Much to my mother's aggravation.  She didn't understand that it widened my horizons of life.

Bring your cameras and all your paraphenalia if you wish.  Come with open eyes.  Come to see the every day scenes or the spectacular scenes in the many, many festivals we have.  I promise, you'll NEVER be disappointed.  It is a photographer's paradise.
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14 comments:

Lynne (WinnieViews) said...

Great post! I'm looking forward to my first visit to San Miguel later next month and can't wait to photograph it all. Your post is an excellent reminder that there is always abundant beauty and interest beyond the routine and common "postcard" shots.

Babs said...

Thanks Lynne for commenting. You're a new commenter....yeah. I see you're from Chicago and also blog.
I'm going to look at them this afternoon.
Enjoy your time in San Miguel. It IS a delight.

Bill said...

Love this!

Babs said...

Bill, thanks for your comment. Come on down - you won't be disappointed.

No beaches, but we do have many candlelit dinners!

gringosuelto said...

I'll second that post. I have a bunch of very nice pictures I've taken in SMA. I was hoping to upload or paste one in my comment, but it doesn't appear possible.

Saludos,

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we had some amazing light at sunset this evening. Made me wish I had my camera with me.

P.S. What do they do to painters who don't put down cal first?

Christine said...

LOve that hat seller's phtograph. the colors and the textures are so lively and he is so relaxed. Good job, babs!

Babs said...

Thanks Christine - I love it too!

Babs said...

Kim, if they don't put the cal the paint won't adhere to the surface....
I guess that is how they would know.

Calypso said...

Now that you bring it up - I think Mexico generally is much more photogenic than the U.S. Digital cameras have created such an opportunity as well. I remember 36 frames on a roll of film, proof sheets and waiting, waiting, waiting to see your photos.

Now we can shoot like crazy - what a pleasure that advancing technology has provided ;-)

Sharon said...

Beautiful photos and a terrific idea about donating the books! Do the schools on SMA need books? Spanish and English? One of my former students, who never read despite the fact that I would remind her of how much bigger the world becomes though reading, approached me in the hall at school a few weeks ago to tell me that her world is so much bigger now! She's reading! :-)

Your posts are the sunshine in my morning, Babs!

Sharon in Boston

Babs said...

Calypso, remember how I fought against the digital and didn't want to give up my film camera? I can't believe how much I've enjoyed the digital camera! It's true, we just download them and voila, there are the photos.......I remember when I went to Guatemala, I carried 16 rolls of film.......no need for that any more. Progress and fun.

Babs said...

Sharon, yes, books in Spanish are greatly sought. Books are very expensive in Mexico, as is paper. So, I go to Half Price Books or wherever to find books. The primary school across from me is 1st through 6th. The kids are a joy to know and to watch growing up. I love the sound of their laughter.....
I'm so glad that student said something to you. Sometimes we never know if we have impacted someone's life.

postcardsfromsanantonio said...

Strangely, I feel stopping for photos makes me observe more closely.... Anyway, looking forward to joining the ranks of those snapping away in San Miguel next month during the Writers Conference.

Babs said...

You'll be full of creativity after all the excellent speakers and workshops. Then add photographing. You'll have a wonderful time. I'll be at the conference some...maybe we'll meet!