27 de Septiembre: Mexican War of Independence Re-enactment in Tonatico, Mexico, By Oswaldo Guadarrama
In the early morning of September 16, 1810, in the small town of Dolores, Guanajuato, a catholic priest by the name of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, rang the bells to his church and made a call to arms which triggered the armed conflict that was the Mexican War of Independence from Spain. It is now over 200 years later, and all throughout Mexico, Independence Day is celebrated on September 16. Not many places, however, celebrate the day of the consummation of the war of independence, which took place on September 27, 1821. This is about one of the few places that do; this is about Tonatico.
I was 11 or 12 years old and looking for my first camera. My father told me, “Son, whatever type of camera you chose to be with is just fine with your mother and me just as long as it’s a Nikon.”
I had been perusing the centerfolds of camera magazines, ogling the Nikon bodies and yes, even the fine looking Olympus, Canon, Pentax, and Minoltas. When my father was once looking to buy a camera, his photographic mentor Gino Rossi told him to buy the one he really wanted, to not compromise. My dad told me the same thing and what I really did want was a Nikon. The others were pretty but they didn’t feel right for me. There was one caveat. I had read an article about Leicas and when I asked my dad about them he didn’t turn up his nose as he did at other brands. He said something about them being very good but too expensive — and for an 11-year-old about to spend his life savings of just over $100 that was the end of that. I ended up buying a well-used Nikon FM black body. My dad gave me a 50mm Nikon f/1.8 E Series lens, since my life savings wouldn’t cover any optics, and that camera carried me years into the future — to work at newspapers and on my first international documentary assignments in Central America. Along the way it was joined by a Nikon F3 and a few other lenses, most notably the Nikkor 20mm f/2.8. Finally, the old FM and the newer F3 were joined by a brand new Leica M6ttl. That my introduction to the M system and this is the story of that journey.
We were running towards each other, we’ve been running for years, slowly becoming apart, further and further away from each other every minute. Children are screaming for their mothers, neighbors are calling “enough now, come inside” but I lay awake in the deepest of night dreading for an escape.
“Come on, wake up, you’ve been sleeping for so long” I keep repeating to myself, It’s been a few years since you’ve been stuck in that thought. “maybe you haven’t heard the message, you see, this thing you’re feeling happens to be wise and won’t leave until it’s message has been heard.” But I was stubborn and my ears had been shut for some time now, all I could hear was a voice inside my head telling me to give up, because finding myself was impossible, I was long gone.
We had a tremendous response to our essay contest and want to thank everyone who took the time to send us their essay. We are currently going through all the entries and will be publishing entries starting 2/13/19!
All finalists will see their entries published here on the pages of Field Photographer now through the 28th, with the final selection and winner announced February 28th! Both Andrew Tonn and myself are going over all entries and selecting our favorites then comparing notes. As a bonus a special selection will be made by Gary Crickmore proprietor of World of photography in Columbus Ohio.
The minimalist Swedish accessories brand Sandqvist partnered with Hasselblad not long ago, releasing a line of bags specifically designed with the Hasselblad X1D in mind. Now these exclusive camera bags are on sale through Sandqvist marked down 50%. They feature a removable camera compartment, laptop sleeve, multiple zippered pockets and leather straps and accents, as well as Hasselblad and Sandqvist shared brand in the form of a small patch on the front. Not sure if it’s the right bag for you? We have a full hands on review coming soon. $339.00 $169.50 USD LINKFP
Sand Pack Co is now offering a pre-order for their newest camera strap. The strap sports a military inspired design and features an attractive olive, black and orange color theme. Pre-orders are available in each of the Cobra Straps two sizes, a 1.0″ wide style and a slightly wider strap at 1.5″ – both styles feature a Cobra D-ring attachment point, a reinforced 500d Cordura neck panel, Molle pouch attachment loops and are handmade in Portland, Oregon. Pre-orders ship in February. $160 USD LINKFP
“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”
Ernest Hemingway was talking about writing but I find the idea to be equally true of photography (or any form of art or craft). There are artists who seem to appear, sui generis, from nowhere, without precedent or antecedent though in the end this is a false narrative. There are, indeed, great and original talents, but everyone is influenced by something.
In 2018 Field Photographer blew up. We grew quickly and massively much faster than any of us had anticipated, and that’s all due to you, our loyal reader. And this growth has brought us to 2019, a year where you’ll see a lot of changes. Bigger projects, more reviews, more content than ever before and because you demanded it, a podcast.
We have big goals for 2019 and we want to thank all of you for supporting FP and being a part of what we’re doing here. We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Hanukah season, we’re excited about our further adventures with you as we go into our third year of publishing. Happy New Year! FP
Travel in the 21stcentury doesn’t often feel much like exploring anymore. Just when you think you’ve had a real Indiana Jones type of experience hiking a wadi in central Oman, you run headfirst right into a Starbucks. A few years ago, my wife and I were living in and had explored much of India. We had just been to Everest Base Camp, had seen a lot of other parts of Asia, and were looking for new adventures. It was around that time that we heard of Bhutan, “the Land of the Thunder Dragon.” Everything about it called to us as travelers and explorers.