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Oaxaca: A Different Approach

Oct 25, 2013 Category: Travel

OK.  It’s finally here.  I’m sitting at the airport waiting for my flight that will mark the beginning of my photographic journey to Oaxaca, Mexico with David Duchemin and 8 other photogs for what, I hope, will be an 8 day odyssey of self-discovery and photographic enlightenment.  Not that I’m putting pressure on myself here.

Within the 4 month buildup to this trip, I’ve done a lot of thinking about how I want to handle this journey.  I’ve often lamented that “if only I could go places like Art Wolfe, David Duchemin or a myriad of other greats, I, too, could take photos of epic proportions.  Well, I’m heading for one of those places and I’m driving myself nuts wondering if I’m up to the task.  Again, no pressure.

But this week, I’ve looked inward and tried to come up with a plan to relieve some of that pressure.  It didn’t hurt that I started my mentorship on Tuesday with Arthur Meyerson who helped put things in perspective.  After all, isn’t this supposed to be fun?  The only person I need to satisfy here is myself, right?  Right!  So with that in mind, and ego in check, I’ve come up with a plan of action.  It’s quite simple, really.  I’m going to relax and take it slow.

When shooting with Mr. Meyerson last August, he said I don’t go out and shoot photographs, I go out and hunt them.  Well, this time, I’m going to put down my bow and arrow, raise a glass of mescal to the skies, step back and slow down.  I’m going to let go of the hunt and allow the images to present themselves to me.  I’m going seek out the right backdrop, set the stage and let the actors walk upon it as I sit patiently and wait.  Instead of hunting like a wild boar, I’m going to seek my prey like a graceful leopard.  Watch, listen and wait for the right moment in the right place…. the right place because I will have already scouted it out and patiently waited for the moments to happen.

Of course, I’ll do some hunting as well.  But, with Arthur whispering in my left ear, I’ll slow down, take everything in and wait for that perfect moment where gesture meets surroundings in a way that will, hopefully, make some memorable images.  Easy to say, hard to do, but that’s my goal.

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