The mashup of styles, shapes, lights and darks & epochs intrigued me on my limited walks over the past years living in Merida.
Most of the work includes color but this one begged to be in black & white with the sepia toning I would have used had it been an analog print long ago in my lost lab.
I have been away from this blog, from shooting more than a little while at a time for at least a year. Illness, hospitals, surgeries have limited my photography – and a host of other pleasures.
Now I decided, since it is on my bucket list, to make a little book. I thought it would be fun, simple, quick. It has been fun but neither simple nor quick nor am I sure the first proof will even work. I have had to learn far more about the apps – Lightroom & the Nik Collection, edit my work down (always hard) to a small number, cry over set-backs & failures, but do it. Then re-do it over & over.
Sooner or later I will be happy enough to present it but, for now, it remains my way to stay involved without the energy to explore more, discover more, see more and work harder.
This first attempt is about the façades of El Centro, the historic district of Merida. It is a fascinating area that attracts expatriates, has seen soaring prices and where I do not live. I chose the newer, blander north of the city for its’ comfort and relative security. I have been trying to find ways to shoot this Nuevo Merida but it presents its’ own challenges.
Cruising near the last inner circle of industrial activity before the pereferico (beltway); this design and textural play on vertical shapes caught my eye was interesting enough to get me out of my car on another of Merida’s muggy 100F days to wander along the railroad tracks, climb down & up the ditch in the divided road and play in Lightroom. I like the monochrome look with a dash of green so avoided the temptation to make it a B&W.
In a prime example of urban planning texts, Merida is leapfrogging its’ neighborhoods out from El Centro to the pereferico and, now, crowding the edges of the beltway with industrial, institutional, wholesale (mayoristas), residential and retail explosions of building. Beyond the beltway little, Mayan villages give way to residential clusters ranging from ticky-tacky sameness to luxurious clusters and the small city’s version of high-rises.
Los sueños perdido de uno viejito.
The Day of the Dreamy Bike:
50 years ago I survived 2 years with my 250cc Ducati. A youth, I wanted more bike, more power, more macho image. I had my heart set on either a used Triumph (like this more modern version) or a big, black Norton Atlas. The family united to persuade me toward a nice, “safe” car to replace my wrecked MGA. I gave in & missed the chance to love a big bike between my legs (or to die as road kill).
Now, a cardiac cripple, there was a half-hour to photograph the memories at a Mexican “moto” dealer. Even then only a few shots due to the debilitating heat of Merida, my brittle inflexibility (notice not even hunkering down for the low shots nor sitting in the street for fear of needing help to get up) and the ever-present weakness of a severely damaged heart-muscle.
Even my vision is failing. But the dream-muscle still works.
To celebrate lower temperatures (Wow! Not 40C/104F – 42C/108F) & perhaps some help from the higher pile of pills/spray/patches the cardiologist has added; I took my dated Nikon to the antiquated rail yards of Merida looking for abstracts of big machine transports. It is a long-standing pleasure. My wife called it my “little boy photos”…cars, planes, ships, trucks… As always in both countries it was fun until the RR cops arrived. (I’m too old to slip behind a tank car when the manned locomotive passes…enough for an ancient to avoid falling in the rusty steel and trash). A few results edited in Lightroom with newly freed Viveza2.
A new(ish) series to continue in my incredibly slow manner: Urban Trees. The lungs of a city they need to be protected, inserted, respected. Merida, despite its’ lack of large, urban open spaces; is campaigning for just that as the wave of the construction boom and urban sprawl beyond the Pereferico (beltway) threatens to engulf the region.
Near the remains of the main house of the Hacienda Xcumpich in the north of the city.
Last week I poked into the abandoned, gutted, derelict hacienda Xcumpich. Close to me it didn’t tax my extremely limited energy and surplus of pain from the botched surgery in November & a recent fall that damaged my back. I was looking for more in a series of “urban trees”. Spending sunset in the ghost of the hacienda’s main house was fun even though there is basically nothing left of it and it is surrounded by new houses, a Montessori school and then a casino, hotel, convention center & supermarket. The end is nigh.