Night Photography on the Zocalo, Oaxaca

Our group is here in Oaxaca for the Day of the Dead Documentary Photography Expedition.  We are practicing using tripods and camera settings for night photography.  Tonight is the REALLY BIG NIGHT.  We are going to the Xoxocotlan cemetery.  That did not stop us from staying out on the streets of Oaxaca until very close to midnight!

Cafe Society on the Zocalo, Oaxaca--Midnight

After dinner last night (at a really great Italian restaurant called La Vieja Lira, [Pino Suarez #100, Centro Historico, 951-516-1122] that I may write about later) we meandered to the Zocalo, cameras and tripods in hand.  Bill Bamberger is an extraordinary teacher and coach, and every step of the way will check photo results, give tips and techniques, suggest various shutter speeds and ask us to stretch and experiment.

Blue Arcade, on the Oaxaca Zocalo at Midnight

I experimented with shutter speeds ranging from f3.5 to f9 using automatic Aperature setting on my Nikon D40X.  I am using a 28-300mm Nikkor lens. The shutter speed for this one was f7.  I started bracketing my photos, and decided I liked this one with the stronger shadows to show the curve of the ancient tree trunk.  The zocalo is filled with trees like this.

Tree illuminated--On the Zocalo at Midnight, Oaxaca

I really wanted to capture the strength and sculptural beauty of those massive trees.  Lots of pedestrians are out this time of night.  Of course, it’s Muertos and there is a lot to celebrate.

Macedonio Alcala at Midnight -- Pedestrian Avenue

You can still see plenty of tourists and locals mingling this time of night.  Note the man with the camera around his neck on the right!  Perfectly SAFE in case you are wondering.

Just magical!

And, finally, the wonderful El Teatro Macedonio Alcala (below) at night.  And, if you click here you can see what it looks like in daylight.  The theatre is an incredible performance venue for classical music, theatre, and broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera.

El Teatro Macedonio Alcala at Midnight


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