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Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The pastel streets of Antigua, Guatemala are ideal for photo walks and street photography. After spending ten days on a coffee finca in the country's lowlands while doing archaeology photography at the Takalik Abaj National Park in 2010, I had two days of recuperation in Antigua prior to my flight out.

Surrounded by volcanoes, the air is cool and redolent and the town is safe and easy to cover on foot. Locals are accustomed to being photographed, although many now expect to be paid for their image by the passing gringo photographers. I made this picture en route to the Mercado de Artesanias on the west edge of town and like many successful street shots, it was serendipitous. I was attracted to the layering of colors and the woman in her red hat and the proprietor behind the counter were ideally positioned. I hesitated and framed the image and then waited for the scene to come together, which it soon did when the man appeared in the vacant doorway. When an images comes together like this one, I can't help but hear the echoing words of photographer Sam Abell saying "compose and wait" from a seminar a few years ago. Eventually, something magical may happen.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Nantucket Island has always been good to me and  my return to the island last week was a nostalgia-filled remembrance of old times. I drove a taxi on the island during my summers away from Trinity College and ended up as a year-rounder working as the sports editor of the Nantucket Beacon newspaper after graduation. It was, and will always be, one of the best jobs that I have ever had as it taught me all aspects of the production of a weekly newspaper.  

E.L. Bates was a weekly contributor to the paper and he penned the fishing column for the sports section. His real name is Captain Dave Beaumont and he is one of the island's sharpies when it comes to catching big striped bass in the summer. We fished together often during my stint as a newspaperman (a.k.a. failed novelist) and my time on island was not only an apprenticeship as a writer but also as a fisherman. So, during my reunion visit to the island last week, Dave and I went fishing on the south shore at sunset and drank a few Cisco beers while the live eels swam in the surf zone. Tending the rods with a cold one in his hand, Dave made an ideal silhouette as the sun slipped away. We didn't land any keeper bass that night but we had the sunset to ourselves and it was great catching up after all these years. Thanks Dave!
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