San Francisco el Grande, Guatemala

San Francisco el Grande, Guatemala

This is an older image from back in 1996. In those days I used a "viewing card," an old Ansel Adams technique. When setting up a 4x5 camera, one has to know exactly the composition. The camera cannot be used to compose the capture. I used an 8x10 piece of matte board, with a 4x5 window cut-out. More about this in my next post! Now I have returned to this practice with my digital cameras. I want to use my Canon 5Dr in the same deliberate method as the old ways with my view cameras. The card slows me down, then I can think about what my "mind" is trying to present. When I find the camera position, I drop the card and go and retrieve the camera. With this method, zoom lens are used to "refine" a composition, not to find it.

"This early chapel was built in Antigua, Guatemala, in 1599. One of the earliest missions to be built, it led to the more famous missions in California. I scouted this location a few days earlier and completely missed this scene with the receding arches. On a return scouting visit near the end of my trip, I noticed the little bits of flower, turned around and saw the four arches leading into the background. I stopped, set up the tripod and made my exposures. Just then, the light changed and the photo was gone. For me, the photo captures the essence of Guatemala. The old cobblestone streets, the ancient colorful buildings and facades from 500 years ago make it a color photographer’s dreamland."

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All the best,

Margaret and Vern