Friday, 1 August 2014

Between The Three Volcanoes | Tewfic El-Sawy

(click on image)

During the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in La Antigua last week, I managed to squeeze in a few hours of street photography.

Using my Leica M9 and a Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 (and occasionally a Fuji X Pro-1 with a Fujinon 28mm f2.8), I walked the quaint cobblestones streets of La Antigua, not straying too far from its epicenter, Parque Central.

I titled this gallery as Between The Three Volcanoes, since La Antigua is cradled by three volcanoes; Acatenango, Volcán de Agua and the Volcán de Fuego.

Many of the photographs in this monochromatic gallery were made surreptitiously, using the shooting from hip technique I work with in the streets of New York City...aka shooting blindly (sort of). I don't see it as a furtive method, but simply as a way to capture the candid expressions of people in the public eye and in the streets.

Furtive or not, I seldom photograph (or show) pictures of the homeless or the handicapped wherever I go. In La Antigua, I photographed a person in a wheelchair being pushed by a woman who had the most interesting of expressions...but despite that, I decided against including it in this gallery.

I decided early on that I'd photograph in monochrome, and resist being seduced by the colors of Guatemala...whether the colors of the indigenous people's dress, or La Antigua's walls of red, mustard-yellow and orange. The Leica M9 has a setting with which my photographs were monochrome in jpg and color in I had the best of both worlds.

Some 10 years ago, I photographed in La Antigua (and some parts of Guatemala) during its spectacular Semana Santa, and comparing my photographs now and then, I am amazed by the difference and by the gradual evolution in my style. My photography used to be more for stock at that time, and now it's pure documentary-travel photojournalism.

I've chosen to feature this gallery on Medium, which allows photographs to be viewed is 1400 pixels on the long side.