Howdy! Well, while my studio is down I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos from 2013. Starting with number 10. The photo was in the little town of San Ignacio, Belize. The Guatemalan farmer, pictured here visit the local market every Saturday to gather supplies for the week.
When you are traveling around, are you conservative with your images or do you make a bunch of them? I’m not suggesting ‘Spray and Pray’, but if you see something that you are drawn to, but don’t quite know why, you still make a photograph of it? I thought this week I would share some of those images of mine. Images that I shot, at the time I wasn’t sure why, but later when I got home I was happy I did. The first one is of a home in San Ignacio. It has sat on the hard drive of quite a while, but finally this weekend I revisited it and enjoyed what I found. I guess the lesson is, film is cheap so don’t worry about wasting a few frames. Later, you might find something you like!
Because Father’s Day was yesterday, this image is for my pops. When he was a kid, he had a dog named Cesar. Caesar was a boxer and I have heard so many stories about what a great dog he was. Anytime I see a boxer, I can’t help but think about him. Like the day I met this guy. His name is Reggie and he’s the shop dog at a local rock store in Utah. Good dog, and nice enough to let me lay on the ground to take his photo.
I hope everyone had a great weekend! As a gesture of respect, wherever I travel I always try to learn how to say “May I take your photograph” in the native language. In Spanish, it’s ‘puedo tomar su photo’. Although, traveling in the Yucatan, you might need to learn Mayan as well. Twelve percent of the population is pure-blooded Mayan and many of them continue to speak the language. From my experience, I have found the Mayan people to be a very proud and stoic people. When I ask to take their photo, they all assume a very similar pose to the gentleman pictured here. If you ever have a chance to speak with someone of Mayan descent, take advantage of it. You’ll be in awe of the beauty of their stories.
Did you know Belize has a national chess club (check out their facebook page)? I didn’t either until I stumbled upon the West Cayo District team training one Saturday afternoon. Being a fan of the game, I asked their coach if I could take a few photos. He said, “sure…would you like to play a game?”. You don’t have to ask me twice. Instantly I was surrounded by kids yelling, “The camera man plays chess! The camera man plays chess!” I settled into a game, and thought I should probably go easy on the young man pictured here. Was I ever wrong. While eating nachos and chatting on the phone he put in me in checkmate after decimating my pieces. No question, he was ready for district championships the next week.
I share these images and stories with you hoping that on your next trip, you might open yourself up to new experiences and meeting new people. I’m guessing you already do. I’ve found that the folks that visit here on a regular basis are pretty open to the world around them. However, if you’re not or you’re a bit shy, just give it try. The lesson here, one that I have tried to share this week, is simple. Whether it is a distant country or a neighboring town, travel isn’t about seeing…its about experiencing. Although there is something to be said for standing alone, in the presence of a grandscape, it’s also just as rewarding to play a game of chess with a total stranger.
Photographer’s Note - Yep, another image from one of my favorites…the Nikon 24mm 1.4g.