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  1. #1
    david b's Avatar
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    First week in Oaxaca

    Hi all, just thought i would check in.

    Oaxaca is a wonderful place. hot with lots of bugs but beautiful scenery and people.

    one major set back is that I cannot use a tripod at any historic place such as Monte Alban and Mitla which makes using my Hasselblad and APX 25 next to impossible. So my XPAN is getting a workout.

    I am applying for the permit but was told it will take a minimum of 15 days to process, in Mexico City. Patience.

    Anyway, hope you all are well. More later.

    Adios,
    david b

    ps....those of you coming to santa fe for photo arts, please contact me as I am hosting a BBQ at my new home near the plaza.

  2. #2
    eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david b
    Hi all, just thought i would check in.

    Oaxaca is a wonderful place. hot with lots of bugs but beautiful scenery and people.
    DB,
    Don't buy the alabrejes from the plaza. Take the taxi to the little towns from Oaxaca and go to the artisans making them. Plenty of photo ops there. Haggle, haggle, haggle. They don't think you are manly unless you haggle. Part of the buying process.
    Don't you find it weird that there are a lot of Italian restaurants in Oaxaca?

  3. #3
    noseoil's Avatar
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    David, a "magic" phrase in Mexico to expedite paper work is... "Isn't there some way to get this done a little (better, faster, quicker, etc...)." A couple of dollars has always helped me to get things expedited. Be polite and inquisitive, sometimes it helps a lot. tim

  4. #4

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    How interesting the new eyes on Oaxaca are. My brother lived and worked there for years. You need to establish a community presence. Until then you are government reg bait. Do youself a favor and do not hurry home.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by david b
    I am applying for the permit but was told it will take a minimum of 15 days to process, in Mexico City. Patience.
    Good luck. My experience with INAH is that it could take 15 days or 15 years. The way INAH deals with the type of permission you request is an embarassment to Mexico, but the folks who control INAH apparently either don't care, or are too ignorant to understand the issues.

    I have photographed historical places in many countries in Europe and the Americas, but have never run into the kind of brain dead mentality and total incompetency that one finds in Mexico with INAH. Others may disagree, but my own conclusion is that the folks who control INAH are just incredibly stupid and incompetent.

    But lots of wonderful things to photograph in Oaxaca and in the surrounding area that are, thankfully, not under the jurisdictioni of INAH.

    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 06-03-2005 at 11:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6

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    but my own conclusion is that the folks who control INAH are just incredibly stupid and incompetent.
    Can I quote your message? I would love to send it to INAH with a translation. This people dont understand the tripod and "professional" restriction. I sent them a letter telling them that allowing photographers who use tripods to photograph is in fact a good thing, that it promotes tourism and creates good will with visitors, that it is one thing to allow someone shooting a commercial or a movie to shoot there and it is another to allow photographers who want to do a good job to take pictures. Well, their answer was that the law is very clear and that anybody using "professional" equipment has to pay. If you dont mind my using your post I would like to send it to them with a translation to show them the kind of impression they are making and giving the rest of the world.

    As I told David, it is easier to bribe the guy than try to do it legit.....

    PS. If you dont want me to use your name no problem.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge
    Can I quote your message? I would love to send it to INAH with a translation. This people dont understand the tripod and "professional" restriction. I sent them a letter telling them that allowing photographers who use tripods to photograph is in fact a good thing, that it promotes tourism and creates good will with visitors, that it is one thing to allow someone shooting a commercial or a movie to shoot there and it is another to allow photographers who want to do a good job to take pictures. Well, their answer was that the law is very clear and that anybody using "professional" equipment has to pay. If you dont mind my using your post I would like to send it to them with a translation to show them the kind of impression they are making and giving the rest of the world.

    As I told David, it is easier to bribe the guy than try to do it legit.....
    Hi Jorge, I just have this conversation with David at diner (by the way, we had a great diner at "El Naranjo", his treat) and I told him that this is the law since I remember. I couldn't take a photo in Monte Alban or Mitla or Dainzu with a tripod, EVER. Thats it. I don't know if you go in front of the Capitol at Washington, D.C. with a tripod and nobody stop you, but six year ago, I went to "The Galleria" at Houston, TX. and set my tripod in order to get a photo of the skate ring, and before I set the exposure, a guard approached me with his hand in his gun and asked me for my permission to do so.
    Jose A. Martinez

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge
    Can I quote your message? I would love to send it to INAH with a translation. This people dont understand the tripod and "professional" restriction. I sent them a letter telling them that allowing photographers who use tripods to photograph is in fact a good thing, that it promotes tourism and creates good will with visitors, that it is one thing to allow someone shooting a commercial or a movie to shoot there and it is another to allow photographers who want to do a good job to take pictures. Well, their answer was that the law is very clear and that anybody using "professional" equipment has to pay. If you dont mind my using your post I would like to send it to them with a translation to show them the kind of impression they are making and giving the rest of the world.

    As I told David, it is easier to bribe the guy than try to do it legit.....

    Absolutely you may quote me.

    It won't do any good, in my opinion, because this organization is "brain dead" but do what you can.

    Frankly, I just don't understand such idiocy. I have photographed in many of the most imporant historical places in Spain with a tripod, with permission of course, and have never encountered the kind of attitude and incompetency one finds in Mexico in INAH.

    And for what it is worth, I have credentials that normally open doors in hispanic countries, including fluent Spanish, university affiliation, and a Cv. that shows scholary credentials, including numerous publications in the area of photgraphic aesthetics and history. But for the folks at INAH none of this seems to matter at all.

    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 06-03-2005 at 11:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking
    Good luck. My experience with INAH is that it could take 15 days or 15 years. The way INAH deals with the type of permission you request is an embarassment to Mexico, but the folks who control INAH apparently either don't care, or are too ignorant to understand the issues.

    I have photographed historical places in many countries in Europe and the Americas, but have never run into the kind of brain dead mentality and total incompetency that one finds in Mexico with INAH. Others may disagree, but my own conclusion is that the folks who control INAH are just incredibly stupid and incompetent.

    But lots of wonderful things to photograhy in Oaxaca and in the surrounding area that are, thankfully, not under the jurisdictioni of INAH.

    Sandy
    I think that you miss the point here, you can photograph in Mexico anything, but 'without' a tripod in an official or historical place, which means that you can photograph any historical place in Mexico, but you CAN NOT USE A TRIPOD. Using a tripod means that you are a "professional photographer", and for that reason you have to get a permission, that you can get if you fulfill the requirements. And of course, you can get "A LOT" of images out of Oaxaca and the rest of Mexico, if you are good enough. A tripod is not a problem.
    Jose A. Martinez

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jose A Martinez
    Hi Jorge, I just have this conversation with David at diner (by the way, we had a great diner at "El Naranjo", his treat) and I told him that this is the law since I remember. I couldn't take a photo in Monte Alban or Mitla or Dainzu with a tripod, EVER. Thats it. I don't know if you go in front of the Capitol at Washington, D.C. with a tripod and nobody stop you, but six year ago, I went to "The Galleria" at Houston, TX. and set my tripod in order to get a photo of the skate ring, and before I set the exposure, a guard approached me with his hand in his gun and asked me for my permission to do so.
    Yes, I have seen some of this myself in the post 9/11 period in the US. But the issue is one of security. I have never been told to not use a tripod in any of the national parks in the US, including anthropological sites. In fact, the folks at these sites usually go out of their way to be helpful. In New Mexico, for example, the directors of some of the mission sites have even arranged to have site custodians open the gate early to allow me to photograph. Of course, if I set my 12X20 up on the Hoover Dam I would not be surprised if someone told me to leave.

    Private facilities in the US (as your skating ring) have a complete right to forbid use of cameras on their facilities. Mostly this is done to protect privacy of the people who use the facilities. As you or I might prohibit photography at a private party at our home.

    Sandy

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