Oaxaca Mexico with a Rolleiflex

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dpurdy, May 12, 2008.

  1. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I went to Oaxaca in Feburary and spent about 4 days doing photography with my Rollei 2.8F mostly hand held. I printed up some of it on Oriental WT and scanned them and made this gallery. The extra warm images were tones in black tea.
    Dennis

    http://www.pbase.com/dpurdy/oaxaca
     
  2. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Very nice Dennis!
    I am surprised not to see any people, as looking at a ghost town.
    My favorite is the girl with the graffiti. The composition is complex and captivating.
     
  3. david b

    david b Member

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    Great work Dennis.

    I spent the month of June in 2005 there in Oaxaca. I went with my Hasselblad and about 225 rolls of film, mostly APX 25.

    I have a bunch printed but nothing scanned.

    You did a really great job.
     
  4. juanito

    juanito Member

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    Oaxaca is a wonderful place.
    You have made great photographs. Congratulations!

    Juan Carlos
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Ha, Ari the place is crammed and crowded with people from dawn till midnight. But I am not interested in photographing people so I had to get up really early and sometimes wait awhile. Oaxacans are like people at a permanent festival. Everyday is another day of going to the Central square and listening to live music and kissing your sweatheart.
     
  6. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    I signed in to APUG to post the attached image of the Oaxaca's Cemetery I made 15 years ago when I saw your post. Great work!!. I stayed in Oaxaca last February, from 1 to 6, maybe we cross each other there.:tongue:
     

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  7. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Hey Jose I have that exact picture though mine has converging lines. You must have used a view camera. I arrived in Oaxaca on the 8th. We just missed.
    Dennis
     
  8. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I was wondering if you two would meet.
    Jose handling the populace and Dennis the architecture.
     
  9. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Yea, I used a Sinar. I'll be in Oaxaca next July, round the 12th, any chance that you'll go too?
     
  10. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    What's the best way to get there, where is the best place to stay and does a person need an escort or guide?
     
  11. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Depending on from were you are, or you depart, the best way to get Oaxaca is by plane through Mexico City, I think that the fare from abroad to Mexico City would include the portion to Oaxaca, a guess. There is a lot of great places to stay for a very reazonable price. I don't think you need an escort, maybe a guide by the hour for some places. If you are interested in documentary you can take this workshop: http://www.pcnw.org/school/workshops.php#maryellenjuly, it's an incredible experience. You can also google it to find more photography workshops, there is a few through the year.
     
  12. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I saw Mary Ellen Mark there at the Bravo museum. She was photographing some guy sitting in a chair with a poodle. I hoped to see some Bravo work but there wasn't any up.

    the thing to do is fly into Mexico city and connect a flight to Oaxaca. The airport at Oaxaca has a place to grab a cab downtown and they speak English there at the cab counter. I would highly recommend the Hotel Monte Alban as it is right on the central square and it is inexpensive at about 50 dollars a night. The people at that Hotel speak English and can advise you about buses to out lying areas like donna Rosa's or Mitla. All you really need to be able to do is order food in Spanish. For buying at the markets you can carry a pad and pencil and the vendor will write down the price of things in pesos. The adventure is very pleasant as the people are all friendly and helpful.
    Dennis
     
  13. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Dennis:

    How did you meter? I keep going back and forth between a quasi-spot meter and an averaging incident meter, trying to decide which gives me the negs I want. So I'm always curious what others do. Actually, I have a 3.5E or F and its built-in selenium meter works fairly accurately.
     
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  15. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I do spot metering with a Pentax digital spot. I am pretty careful to get proper exposure for shadow detail and then I figure I will deal with highlights in printing. The light in Oaxaca is very clear and bright so you need to be sure you aren't photographing a scene that is way off the scale in printability. I worked mostly in the early morning and late afternoon and took a nap in the middle. The Sun is very high and harsh mid day.
    Dennis
     
  16. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Beautiful work, Dennis. I agree, Mexican afternoons are not a photographer's friend. Take a nap so you can get up nice and early when the light is better. I have to say that it was partly due to your Rolleiflex images that I broke open the piggy bank and picked up my 3.5f.

    Cheers,
     
  17. Pentax_Junkie

    Pentax_Junkie Member

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    Love the heart&hands photo - really a nice set in all, would love to see the prints.
     
  18. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    They're all up here- doing the work that "we" cannot or will not do. Oaxacans are beautiful, sweet and proud people. The photographs are lovely as well. Thanks Dennis!
     
  19. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    photos

    Dennis-the pictures are really nice---no no they are truly wonderful and you should be proud...
    Best, Peter
     
  20. sanking

    sanking Member

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    My wife and I spend several weeks a year, usually in January, in Oaxaca. These are usually the best weeks of the year for us.

    If anyone here plans to be there next January let me know and perhaps we can meet. We stay very close to the center in an old colonal home, on Murgia, just a couple of blocks from Alcala Macedonia, so very easy to get it.

    Sandy
     
  21. david b

    david b Member

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    I rented an apartment from the Casa Arnel on the north side of town. if memory serves me, I paid $400 for the month.

    Oaxaca is a wonderful place.
     
  22. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    My wife is getting very interested in Oaxaca from just what she has read today, I would like to go some time this year, even January would be fine. A two week rental would be great but a decent hotel at a fair price or a house could work fine too. She has wanted to go to Belize for some time but this looks better to me. Do they have any drug wars or violence going on there? Dennis, what airline did you go with? We have put Italy on the back burner, I was told by a woman that just got back from Venice that they had signs saying American's Go home. We'll wait until the frost melt some more and then tell everyone we're Canadians.:D Ain't it great to be an American these days?

    Curt
     
  23. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Curt, I flew from Portland on Mexicana. And as to crime drug wars and safety, you leave those problems in the US when you go to Mexico. The worst thing you have to put up with in Oaxaca is beautiful children trying to sell you wooden toys or cookies. Well.. and their parents or grandmother trying to sell you stuff on the streets as well. But it is all friendly and you should buy some of the stuff from them as they are living on very little. There is a really great market some bus ride away but I can't remember the name of the market though I am sure Sandy knows. It is around an ancient church yard and there are endless stalls of everything from hats to live turkeys to buy.

    Everyone drinks bottled water there and there is plenty available in the shops. My spouse and I are vegetarian so I can't vouch for the meats but the other foods in the restaurants are great flavored with 20some different kinds of peppers. Look for bowls of Pozole!! And the fresh fruit available in stalls on the street. And if you get out before dawn there are people pushing carts that will sell you cafe con leche which turns out to be Nescafe made with steaming milk and sugar. It gets you going. I never even saw so much as an argument there, much less violence.
    Dennis
     
  24. sanking

    sanking Member

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    The major market is called the "Mercado de Abastos" and it is located in the south of the city, and you can pretty much buy everything there, from food stuff to live goats to major appliances. There is another large marget located just a few blocks south of the Zocalo, and I suspect this is the one you are thinking about.

    You never drink the water from the taps. In fact, i don't even brush my teeth with it.

    The people are generally very friendly and the center of the city is quite safe, even late in the evening. I would not venture too far south of the Zocalo, however, in the late evenings as the area where drugs and prostitution are to be found.

    If you look at my gallery at http://www.alternativephotography.com/artists/sandy_king.html you will see a lot of images made from negatives taken in Oaxaca city. Although I work mostly in monochrome the city is so colorful that you might want to consider color even if you primarily like B&W.

    Best time to go to Oaxaca, IMO, is late October through the end of February. The climate is dry at this time, and the temperature cool but rarely cold. Oaxaca is at about 5000 feet elevation so even though it is very far south the climate is temperate all year. The summer is the rainy season.

    Sandy King
     
  25. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    "There is another large marget located just a few blocks south of the Zocalo, and I suspect this is the one you are thinking about."


    Actually no I am talking about a market that you have to bus to some 20 kilometers away from the city. You get out of the bus station and walk right into the market which seems entirely indigenous and has been going forever. In the middle of the market is an ancient Cathedral and large square (much like the Cathedral and Zocalo in Oaxaca, but much older with few tourists) It is filled with very short women in traditional colorful dress though the men all dress relatively modern. I started to get my camera going and then thought no I don't want to spoil my experience of just being here by obsessing over making pictures of it. So I plopped down in the shade in the square like a hundred other Mexicans and took a nap. It is one of my best memories. though no pictures to prove it.
    Dennis
     
  26. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Dennis, if you went in Sunday, the market you are talking about is Tlacolula, Tuesday is Zaachila, Wednesday is Ocotlan, I don't remember the whole schedule, but there is a market taking place each day in different close by towns. It is a tradition in trading that happens since precolumbian times. You can buy almost anything, and in some places, like in Zaachila, you find horses or oxen to farming, the animal market there is huge.