Foto Flashback: Vietnamese Monk

I was just browsing through my Flickr account and musing over the collection of photos I’ve managed to gather throughout my years of travel… which led me to a thought: why not start regularly posting a random photo from the past?

Hence the birth of Foto Flashback.

This photo is a portrait of a Vietnamese monk which I captured while on a guided motorcycle trip through the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

Spotting the Swiss in Guate

I was camped out at La Esquina completely absorbed in working on my new project, www.arteantigua.com, when Yves Maurer‘s remarks could no longer be ignored. I’m glad I pulled myself out of the computer/internet swamp to engage the young Swiss traveler as he proved to be most interesting.

Yves was delighting in the wonderful pleasures of charmingly colonial La Antigua Guatemala for the first time. He had about a week before he had to skip back to Guatemala City to start organizing a huge new project: geographical mapping and training in Guatemala (sponsored by The Swiss Confederation). Yves is a part of the team that is leading the new project which includes setting up technical training for young Guatemalans. Thus, Yves (pronounced Eve) will be traveling between Switzerland and Guatemala for the next couple years. He also happens to be a fellow photographer.

He clued me into the Pix-Mix event he’s involved with in Switzerland: 20 people presenting 20 photos with 20 seconds per photo. It’s a project I’d like to start here in La Antigua.

For the next few days I decided to be Yves unofficial tour guide as much as I could manage it amidst all my work and projects. In just a couple days we managed to hit many of LAG’s highlights: La Esquina, Hector’s, Reily’s, Mono Loco, Panza Verde, Cafe Sky, Parque Central, Cafe No Se. He also made it to Casa Santo Domingo, Volcan Pacaya and El Pilar (thanks to my article in Revue!). The hotel where Yves stayed, Hotel Quinta de las Flores, was gorgeous. For just $60 he had a fireplace in his room and a massive, expertly manicured garden to wander night and day compete with a pool.

Below a photo Yves took of me:

Me in La Antigua Guatemala. Photo by Yves Maurer

A photo I took of Yves at Panza Verde:

Yves Maurer fine-dining at Panza Verde. Photo by me!

Yves seems to be falling in love with Guatemala and La Antigua. He’ll be passing back through LAG when he heads to Lake Atitlan later this week. I’m kind of tempted to go and show him a few highlights there as well…

Yves blog

Wishing for a Frankencamera

So I’m adding this to my wish list…

For the prototype, he and his colleagues developed a program that instructs the camera to take two rapid shots if a frame has both dark and light parts. One shot exposes correctly for the dark; one shot exposes correctly for the light. The program then merges the two images into one, taking the best parts from each.

And what if a camera could do the same thing for focus — take three shots, focusing on different things in each frame, and merge them into one crystal-clear shot?

Frankencamera invented by Marc Levoy. Photo courtesy of NPR.

View NPR‘s article and listen to their radio piece by clicking here: Frankencamera

Laura McNamara Photography Featured On Gaute Websites

Model at Pepsi event in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Aside from contributing to Revue Magazine, I’ve been contracting out photography work for various clients here in Central America. In August, I photographed a private event for Pepsi. The event was Pepsi’s official launch of its new logo and image in Honduras. I was even interviewed briefly for TV towards the end of the event, speaking horribly incorrect Spanish… hahaha… I don’t know if it was live or if it even aired. But hey, cool! Might have been my second time actually getting a shout on TV in San Pedro Sula. Earlier in this third trek to Central America, when I first arrived in Honduras, my friend Walter commented about me being in Honduras on his live sports talk show. I think I forgot to mention that before? Anyway…

New image of Pepsi at Pepsi event in San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Now, I’m currently helping direct the photography of an event being organized by Equinos Sanos Para El Pueblo in La Antigua Guatemala. In the meantime, ESAP is featuring my photographs on its new website: www.esap.org.gt.

My photography for Equinos Sanos Para El Pueblo

My photography for Equinos Sanos Para El Pueblo

Antigua Canopy Tours, a canopy adventure operation at Finca Filadelfia is also featuring the photography and writing about the operation that I originally composed for AntiguaDailyPhoto.com on its blog.

Antigua Canopy Tours Guide "Tono"

Flowers at Finca Filedelfia

Volcanic Booms

I'm still poor at identifying which volcano is which around La Antigua.Recently, the days have truly been picture-perfect here in La Antigua with a bright sun peering out from big, puffy clouds that slowly trawl across a deep blue sky. Three volcanoes – Fuego, Agua and Acatenango – loom around the colonial streets of La Antigua like protective guardians. Sometimes the summits of the volcanoes are wreathed in their own sea of clouds, other times they stand, unobstructed like other-worldly giants. Often, on these bright sunny days, you can hear a reverberating boom, similar to the sound of far-off thunder or a distant canon. Moments later, you’ll spot a plume of gray, ashy smoke in the horizon. One of the volcanoes has just exploded…

Luckily the explosions are small and prove no threat… at least for now.

I captured this photo from the grounds of Las Gravileas in Santa Catarina Bobadilla just outside of La Antigua. My article about the impressive trade school for women will be appearing in the October issue of Revue Magazine.

Freshwater Pools at El Pilar

Pools of fresh mountain spring water at Finca El Pilar, La Antigua Guatemala.As I’ve started to get into my groove here in La Antigua Guatemala, I’ve began to run again. I’m hoping to become disciplined enough to start training for a marathon again. That’s difficult in this socially non-stop Latin hot spot though. Anyway, one of the lesser known gems of La Antigua is Finca El Pilar and I’ve begun running from my house to the mountainous little getaway. The farm has three sky blue pools that are filled with fresh mountain spring water everyday. I cool off with a good swim and then run back home. It’s a nice little routine. I have an article about the farm and the unique natural reserve located on the grounds coming out in the October issue of Revue Magazine.