Mucho Mas Photos de Mexico

Translation: Much more photographs of my really amazing trip to Guadalajara Mexico with Jose Villa.

All week I have been just beaming with inspiration since my return home. If I didn’t have so much catch up to do, I would have posted this next little series right away.

So about the heavy tilt-shift usage. I actually brought 3 different cameras and 2 lenses for my digital SLR. Jose on the other hand just brought his cheap plastic… Holga. I felt like I was Mr. P.O. (Mr. Photographer Overkill). Well, my Holga wasn’t winding the film tight, so I gave up on it. I left my digital camera bag containing my 24mm at some dressmakers house in some town down the road which basically left me with 2 cameras and no lens change options. Which was all for the good because it forced me to make the most out of what I had. That’s why everything is tilt-shift mania and I like it that way thank you very much. ;) When I get my film back from the Hasselblad, I will be able to share something completely different. Until then… enjoy!

This is the amazingly beautiful Hacienda that we will be staying at in November for Jose’s Mexico workshop. It is over and above my expectations. I just can’t wait to return and take Anna with me!

This man was amazing… We were driving along looking for beauty to capture with our camera shaped nets when Jose saw this guy sitting in front of a church. He was strumming his 5 string guitar with a plastic disposable spoon. It was all he could do to wrap his hand around the neck. He wasn’t actually forming chords with his left hand just kinda muting the outer strings in time. After the man was finished with his song he silently put his guitar in a clear plastic bag and walked into the church. Jose and I stared in amazement as he picked up a broom and swept each row of pews slowly one by one.

As we continued to watch a lady shared with Jose his story. She said that every morning at the same time the man plays for an entire hour. After that he sweeps the whole church. After that he pick up trash around the church and waters the flowers. Then he proceeds to pick up trash around the neighborhood. She said that some people believe he has the closest connection to God of anyone they know. It was truly a powerful experience watching him perform actions of love that spoke louder than words.

I have this obsession with cemeteries; especially Mexican ones. I love the various depictions of the cross, the mausoleums that house the rich people’s caskets, the old and the new, the contrast of death and life. It’s been years since I have photographed in a cemetery and I found the experience exciting and inspiring! Here are a couple of artsy shots Jose took of me.

I set the Hasselblad down after taking a shot of Jose. I fiddled with my digital camera and looked down to pick up Hassy and saw this image which took my breathe away. The stillness of the cemetery was interrupted only by the soft breeze-blown silk petals.

Here is the shot from my digital camera. I had to take it in color because I had a roll of B&W in the Hasselblad. It will be fun to see the difference between the formats when I get my film in.

Jose and I wandered into a random doorway and found a classroom of sculptors. This is the Maestro.

These ruins were discovered something like only 15 years ago. They look like pyramids, but don’t have anything in them. Surrounding the big one were little square plots of rock bordered grass where families or tribes would sit to watch the soccer-like games that ended usually in human sacrifice. It was a little creepy, but also really beautiful.

Holga Face!

It was a beautiful thing watching Jose shoot. He is truly a master photographer! I was amazed to see the way he interacted with his subjects; live or still. He directed and arranged and rearranged to create an image that matched the vision inside his head. To watch his vision take shape was so intriguing to me.

Jose’s grandmother adopted this little girl named Carmelita 16 years ago. She has grown up to be the beautiful town princess. Since we were going to miss the town parade in which she is the featured star Jose’s abuela asked us to go and shoot her trying on her dress. Since she is technically Jose’s adopted aunt I nick-named her Tia Princesa. Jose and I took turns photographing her. His is the last shot.

If anyone is thinking or dreaming of taking a Jose Villa Workshop, I recommend to DO IT! It will be the experience of a lifetime; especially the Mexico workshop.