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Monday, July 2, 2012

seeing: the virtual camera is always on

One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time. Annie Leibovitz

I found the above quote by Annie Leibovitz on a wonderful website for photographers: PhotoQuotes. When you need a shot of inspiration, stop by. Leibovitz’s words resonated with me.

For a long time I dreamed of immersing myself in and photographing a culture other than my own. And then one day in 2004 I came to Mexico and virtually never left. Mexico is a photographer’s paradise. Life here is lived out loud and with great gusto. Mexicanos love on the streets, pray on the streets and eat on the streets. And the flavors of both the life and the food are spicy, vivid and pungent.

One evening not too long ago I sat on my roof terrace gazing at the beauty of the mountains on the horizon. I began to breathe in the aroma of taco stands coming to life for the night. I was drawn to the promise of mouthwatering goodness. I stepped outside and gingerly worked my way across uneven cobblestones to the small alleyway around the corner. There people lined the narrow street patiently waiting in front of the aluminum-clad food stand for orders of their beloved carnitas (pork chopped fine and served with tortillas, tacos and a myriad of condiments: finely chopped cilantro, radishes, onions, spicy salsa. and the ever-present fresh lime). I waited in line for a very long time, the only non-Mexican in the crowd.

Finally, a helper motioned that a place was open at one of the plastic folding tables inside. I greeted a couple seated at the table with their boy—maybe about eight years old. Soon they left. Immediately more people rushed to find a seat at the table, one a muscular chap in his 20’s wearing an undershirt framing his beautifully molded biceps. He quickly consumed 8 or 9 overstuffed carnita-filled tacos and went to the front stand to order more.

Suddenly sheets of rain pounded against the corrugated fiberglass rooftop sounding like a Chichimeca drumming performance. The TV droned on in the background, people talked and laughed and children squealed with delight as they always do here. We squeezed in closer as the people waiting in the street piled into the small space. The smells of the cooking hung in the air. I remember looking at a woman in a yellow top, drenched, entering from the street with its lights causing misty shadows through the rain.

All of this happened and I had not brought my camera. I could have had a little secret tantrum and suffered the loss, but to what end? Instead I turned it around. I knew that being there in the midst of the moment with these people was another step in knowing them. Already the experience had found its way into my awareness and vision. Because of moments like these, more authenticity, feeling and respect would be reflected in images to come. And of course, it wouldn’t hurt to have the camera at the ready.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wonderful iPhoneography  Resources

"Aim well, shoot fast, and scram."—Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Aim well, shoot fast, and app that bitch until it sings."—Knox Bronson. (founder of Pixels at an Exhibition)

This is the go to site that has links to many of the others mentioned here

Only the very best mobile photographers are invited one each year to be part of the group

Learning Resources

Free downloadable pdfs to help you along.Also iPhone Essentials is linked to from the above site. A pay for site with excellent learning videos.

Friday, May 28, 2010

on vacation: gone fishing

From the family archives:
Dad takes Sallie and Marsha fishing (ca 1950)
The truth is Sit a Spell has been on vacation or dragging its feet for quite a while. But Sallie Kravetz has been working day and night in the backroom conjuring up all kinds of goodies, not least of which is the initial launch of a functioning website which can be seen here Just click on my signature to enter.

I am also working to develop a blog specifically devoted to photography, especially Latin American photography. That is taking longer than expected. In the meantime I will be returning to Baltimore to move my nearest and dearest possessions here so not much time is available for blogging right now. I am looking forward to developing these ideas further later in the summer.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

shopping for wide angle images

When most people go to the Ramirez market, they buy crafts, veggies or other delicacies. Today I was on a mission to take as many interesting wide angle images as I could. I am loving working with that lens and am so grateful to this kind woman for allowing me to photograph her. Her shop is in the stretch between Reloj and Hidalgo, not as visited as the other main section of the mercado. I bought something small anyway...just hard to shoot carrying a little package under my arm.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

new look at an old landmark

Lately I have been laboring over selecting groups of images and organizing them for a website to be launched later this summer. At the same time, I have been taking online courses from The Compelling Image from David Bathgate, the founder and a working photojournalist based in Germany.

This time around I am working to develop more mastery with the wide angle lens. There is something intriguing for me in the way this lens bends reality and offers fresh ways to look at ordinary things. The image here is an extreme close shot with a very wide angle of a beloved landmark, the old gas pump on Juarez near Plaza Civica.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

a breath of fresh air

Life in San Miguel is good and yet it is still wonderful to leave town for a few hours to breathe the sweet air of the campo. A welcome invitation from a new friend led to a beautiful outing during the golden hour and to some wonderful images. The goats were definitely the stars of the hour. Take a look here

Note: The campo portfolio has been newly editied