Thursday, May 19, 2011

Guatemalan Bike Riders Stare at My Camera & Vice Versa

Any time I go back to the country of my birth, I feel like an outsider. That's to be expected after leaving so early, and staying away so long. Plus, I wear too many shorts and my Spanish is not up to date.

But feeling and looking like an outsider is acerbated by the camera. That big black box with a tube coming out with a little motor noise - it stands between you and people; though, sometimes it unites you with a person, but often it doesn't. Like in this case, where the camera is just an object from a car staring like a tourist at the way these people live and transport themselves.

So the people stare back.

Often I wonder what kind of person I'd be had I stayed in Guatemala, I'd probably be skinnier.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Monterico, Guatemala

Legendary (and perhaps cheating) war photographer Robert Capa is widely attributed to saying, "If your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough."

It's sage advice for anyone who photographs people, and one echoed to me by several of the pros in Seattle.

It's advice to follow.

But in my recent trip to Guatemala, I did not. I didn't feel like talking to people, something neccesary to gain their trust for a photogenic moment.

So I lagged behind and instead looked for wide shots, trying to capture human figures in different lights.

The pictures are basically from three places in Guatemala: The beach of Monterico, on the Pacific Coast; the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala, and from the highways cutting from the coast to Guatemala City.
Here are the results:

As the sun fell on Monterico, a large group of men and women, and children gathered near the hotel where I stayed to play soccer and volleyball on the beach.

A group of kids were there, too, kicking and bouncing a volleyball:


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Last Line: Dave Ammons

Dave Ammons, who spent nearly 40 years with the AP in Olympia, stops by the bureau to say hi to new capitol press corp member Mike Baker, not pictured. Baker took over the bureau in late April. Always beaming with a positive attitude, Dave was a rarity in the cynical world of politics and journalism. His love for state government continues to show as the communications director for Secretary of State Sam Reed.