Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

Easter Procession in Leon, Spain © Herzen Cortes

A few images of the celebrations of Holy Week in Leon, Spain. Photos taken during the National Geographic Expeditions’ Spain’s Northern Coast by Private Rail led by National Geographic Photographer Tino Soriano and National Geographic Expert Fiona Dunlop.

Photos B&W from the Atayde Circus

Anyone who grew-up in Mexico is familiarized with the Atayde Hermanos Circus which is the most famous circus in that country. It is no secret that circuses are a favorite subject of Mary Ellen Mark. During the latest workshop in Oaxaca, last February,  we talked to one of the owners and gained access to the backstage of the circus allowing some of the students to create and document how the performers live and the activities going on on a daily basis to support the creation of every show.

Following are some of the images I was able to capture during my brief visit…. I have to admit it was interesting to see this having been a spectator all my life…

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Mary Ellen Mark Workshop in Oaxaca

Recently I flew to Oaxaca to sit at one of the wonderful photo workshops of Mary Ellen, the experience was amazing. The workshop is organized in such a way that photographers do have the freedom and the choice of pursuing and perfecting their own photographic style under the careful watch, editing and feedback of Mary Ellen herself.

Every day students are given a time slot when they will meet one on one with Mary Ellen to review and edit the previous day’s work. Before and after the session, students are shooting their chose assignments. In the evenings, some of the days, local photographers are invited to present their work to all students while other days, Mary Ellen presents her own work and some  of the films that she has work with husband Martin Bell.

While I did not participate in the workshop, I did take some pictures which, I hope, show how intimate and close to your subjects you work in this workshop where Photo Xpeditions’ staff and Mary Ellen will make every effort to enable access to almost any place…

Here are some of the pictures I took (B&W of course to follow suit with the purist style of the workshop):

1) Making Carnitas…

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Day of the Dead Photo Workshop Day 6: San Agustin Etla’s Comparsas – Personalities from Day of the Dead

WOW! The day of the dead tradition is so much into the being of every person in Oaxaca that it should no keep amazing me but I can’t help it. We rode a bus into San Agustin Etla and walked all the way to the house where the Town  Comparsa for the night would depart from. Comparsas are dances and music that represent the cultural manifestations from different regions… The music started and the disguised characters started to arrive… the music will not stop until next day at 9am and the Day of the Dead characters, which are people that live in the same town, acquire the privilege of dancing by paying a fee…. needless to say, the dance all night with their self-made costumes that in many cases are really impressive as you can see below…

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Day of the Dead Photo Workshop Day 5: Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Mitla was a nice town with an interesting market however the peak of the day was the visit to the Graveyard at night. I pretty much focused on the old graveyard and it was intense. The people around their relatives graves, the candle lights, the prayers and the atmosphere in general amongst other things made out of this night a really special one. I cannot imagine a better way to experience one of Mexico’s strongest traditions than to witness and live through the solemnity of thee moments side to side with the families of the deceased. Here are some of the pictures that I was able to capture and that try to communicate what went on in the graveyard…

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

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Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Xoxocotlan Graveyard

Day of The Dead Photo Workshop Day 4: Ocotlán Market and Oaxaca’s Comparsas

On day four we headed out of the city in the morning to visit the Market of Ocotlán. There is an enclosed market which extends out to all the streets surrounding the market and even beyond them to the areas around the cathedral and the convent. Once back in the hotel we had our customary edit and critique session after which we headed back to the streets to search for a dining place… The big surprise were the comparsas, street bands full of disguised people, adults and kids alike singing and dancing while moving through Oaxaca’s streets towards down town. Please enjoy some of the pictures I was able to capture…

Ocotlán Market

Ocotlán Market

Ocotlán Market

Ocotlán Market

Ocotlán Market

Ocotlán Market

Ocotlán's Museum and Ex-Convent

Ocotlán's Museum and Ex-Convent

Ocotlán Market

Ocotlán Market

Ocotlán Market

Ocotlán Market

Oaxaca City's Comparsas

Oaxaca City's Comparsas

Oaxaca City's Comparsas

Oaxaca City's Comparsas

Oaxaca City's Comparsas

Oaxaca City's Comparsas

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Oaxaca City's Comparsas

Oaxaca City's Comparsas

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Day of The Dead Photo Workshop Day 3: Zaachila Animal Market and Oaxaca’s Market

Visiting the animal market was a weird experience  but highly intensive, you will be able to judge by yourself by looking at the pictures. We got there early morning and all farmers were already there with their animals or unloading them. In this market, farmers from all over the place come to buy and sell animals, from hens and chickens to cows, pigs and more…

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

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Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Zaachila Animal Market

Afterward we went to shoot the Benito Juarez market in Oaxaca City …

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Benito Juarez Market, Oaxaca

Benito Juarez Market, Oaxaca

Benito Juarez Market, Oaxaca

Benito Juarez Market, Oaxaca

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And finally we started seeing some movement at the zocalo (down town) and the first disguised kids….

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Keep tuned for more once I get good internet coverage again…