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cultural photography

Photography Travel

Valencia: Ofrendas and Falleras

For two days during the Las Fallas festival, the city of Valencia, Spain was abundant with parades of falleras and falleros in traditional costumes accompanied by musicians and bands.  Over 100,000 people from Valencia and surrounding regions brought offerings of flowers to the centre of Old Town Valencia to pay homage to La Virgen de los Desamparados (Our Lady of the Forsaken), the Kingdom of Valencia’s patron saint.

During the week leading up to the event, Valencians constructed a huge wooden monument of the La Virgen in the Plaza de la Virgen.  On March 17th and 18th, this wooden framework was soon filled in with thousands of bouquets of carnations during La Ofrenda de Flores. I became captivated with this amazing tradition: one by one, each of the hundreds of falla communities, dressed up in their best and most colorful traditional costumes, passed by the Virgin bringing their flower offerings. The flowers were gathered up and placed into the framework “cloak” by teams of volunteers. These processions lasted for two days, 9 hours each day from 4:00 pm to 1:00 am. The parades were quite joyful as the beautifully costumed groups danced and sang to folk music as they passed by the crowds who responded with shouts of “guapa”!  These processions were also quite emotional — I noticed many women wiping away tears upon reaching La Virgen and presenting their flowers.

La Ofrenda de Flores was a very inclusive tradition, with people of all ages participating — from babies, to the elderly, to the mobility challenged. It was an amazing event to witness and to photograph. My eyes fill with tears just thinking about how memorable it was to watch.

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Life in Mexico Photography

Dos Catrinas – Infrared

On Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), I styled a photo shoot with two young women who are also good friends. I did all the make-up myself and chose a location here in Mineral de Pozos, Mexico.  The San Pedro ruins provided the perfect backdrop for my shoot.  Alejandra and Malenii were terrific models.  My previous post shows the medium format color images from the shoot. This post features the digital infrared images using a Supercolor IR filter.

These images are available as fine art prints and licensing.

Camera: Nikon D300 (IR conversion)Editing Software: Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop

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Life in Mexico Photography

Life in Pozos – More from La Fiesta

We’re coming down to the last day of the annual celebration to honor the town’s patron saint: El Señor de los Trabajos (The Lord of Work). Yesterday was a busy one for Pozos — the day before was quiet because of heavy rains. We wandered around in the evening, looking for yummy food from the street vendors and photographing the scenes encountered. We saw tons of market stalls, food stalls set up everywhere, carnival rides, street dogs looking for scraps, indigenous dancers in colorful costumes and headdresses, and people of all ages making their way on their knees to end their pilgrimage at the church at the top of the hill.  Here’s some of the scenes I captured yesterday.

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Life in Mexico Photography

Life in Pozos – La Fiesta de El Señor de los Trabajos

Yes, it’s a big week here in Mineral de Pozos, Mexico. It’s the annual celebration to honor the town’s patron saint: El Señor de los Trabajos (The Lord of Work).  Many Mexicans pray to El Señor de los Trabajos to help them find work to provide for their families. This is also the patron saint of our parroquia.

This week is a busy medley of processions, native drumming, dancing, marching bands, music, markets and food stands along with the constant artillery pops of firecrackers and fireworks at all hours of the day and night. There is so much going on, it’s overwhelming to experience for the first time. This fiesta is something the entire town prepares for and looks forward to all year. The fiesta will end on Sunday with the arrival of a large pilgrimage of indigenous people from Mexico City and other states of Mexico.

I love photographing Pozos and and feel blessed to live here. I will post more images as the fiesta continues, but here’s a sampling of what I photographed earlier today.

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