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Tuesday, July 31, 2012


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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.

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