Monthly Archives: November 2013

Day of the Dead Best of Week Photos: Luvia Lazo Gutierrez

Luvia Lazo Gutierrez is a talented 22-year old photographer who lives in the Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle.  We awarded her a scholarship to participate in this 2013 Day of the Dead Photography Expedition.  She helped us immensely during the week with translation and errands.

A graduate of the Benito Juarez Autonomous University in Oaxaca, Luvia studied languages and speaks fluent Spanish, Zapotec and English.  She teaches English and is a self-taught photographer with a keen and sensitive eye for composition and detail.  She saw things that we didn’t and made our immersion into the culture so much more meaningful.

Her dream is to carve out a professional career as a photographer and attend a U.S. university Master of Fine Arts degree program.  Her family supports this idea if there is scholarship support.  Can anyone out there help direct us? And, would anyone be able to donate a good used, recent model Nikon DSLR (D3100, D5100, D7000) and lens(es)  for Luvia’s use? Send me an email.

Luvia’s grandparents helped raise her and she takes special care now to give back. She is the primary caregiver of her grandfather whose health is failing. In small Mexican villages like this one, extended families live with and care for each other.  The family unit is very important and we saw it as a core value during the workshop experience.

Here are the Best of the Week photos selected by Luvia Lazo Gutierrez.  We hope you enjoy them.

lucecita lilangel2 IMG_5871 IMG_5945 time never stops wherever you are Just a reason IMG_5871 IMG_5512 goneandone IMG_4562 IMG_4934 hope IMG_5813 bestfriends IMG_5203 memories         If you are interested in attending in 2014, send me an email!


Day of the Dead Best of Week Photos: Steven Dank

Steven brought his Nikon D7000, a tripod, his new Apple MacBook Pro and lots of enthusiasm to the workshop.  During the week of the Dead of the Dead Photography Expedition, Steve asked for and received personal coaching from instructor Frank Hunter about ways to work most effectively with the manual mode of his camera.  He also learned to  use his new computer and Lightroom for photo editing.

A retired public health officer with the federal Indian Health Service, Steve lives in New Mexico and loves photographing nature.   New Mexico galleries exhibit his photos.  Steve captured Oaxaca’s natural environment as well as her people. An avid collector, he loved being with tapestry weaver Pedro Mendoza and his family during the village celebrations at home and in the cemetery.

Interested in attending 2014 Day of the Dead Photo Expedition? Email me!

Here are Steven Dank’s Best of Week photographs.  Enjoy.

DSC_4996 DSC_4903 DSC_5603 DSC_5126 DSC_5824 DSC_4958 DSC_6324 DSC_5791 DSC_5832 DSC_5234 DSC_5557 photos 10-30-5 DSC_6249 DSC_5974 DSC_6263 DSC_6300 DSC_6219 DSC_6344 DSC_6268 photos 10-30-9 photos 10-30-7 DSC_6196 DSC_6068 DSC_6058

Day of the Dead Best of Week Photos: Starr Sariego

Starr Sariego arrived at our Day of the Dead Photography Expedition eager to know more.  And, she was the only one actively using the manual mode of her camera before the class began, manipulating shutter speed, lens aperture and ISO.  Being familiar, Starr was able to use the week to hone skills, manipulate light more precisely, and see Oaxaca as a documentary photographer.

For the past year, since she got her new camera, Starr does photo shoots for non-profit organizations in Miami, Florida, where she lives.  Her hope is to expand her clientele as a result of this workshop.

To get on the list for the 2014 expedition, contact me. 

Here are Starr’s Best of Week photographs that she selected.

girls janet bro manos street beg grave backlit grave cross church rose catarina abuelo alter  band jamaica grave skull kitchen lit abuelo guitar abuelo market chairs   foodt o abuelo market bowls parade vendor tienda red shawl teo panteon red umbrella moto mimi


Day of the Dead Best of Week Photos: Barbara Szombatfalvy

Barbara is an animal lover who found the street dogs of Oaxaca and Teotitlan del Valle to be captivating subjects.  Frank Hunter, our instructor, suggested that we each choose a theme for our final presentation.  

Barbara’s Best of Week photos show her compassion for animals and the connection she has to them.  By participating in the Day of the Dead Photography Expedition, Barbara learned to use Lightroom photo editing software and moved completed from automatic to using the manual mode on her camera.  Plus, this was her first time using a tripod for night photography.

Barbara has a family law practice in Durham, North Carolina. She knows the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University where instructor Frank Hunter taught for the past ten years.  This year, she was the first to register since last year we filled quickly and had to put her on a wait list last .

Interested in attending in 2014? Send me an email.

Here are the Best of Week photos Barbara Szombatfalvy selected to share.

16 08 10 07 01 12 09 05   17 11 13 04 14 20  18 21  03 02 13

Day of the Dead Best Photos: Donna Howard

At the first Day of the Dead Photography Expedition session, Donna Howard told the group she wanted to improve her portrait photography skills.  During the workshop week, Donna concentrated on taking pictures of people, something she was uncomfortable with because it meant getting closer and establishing a relationship with the subject.  As the week progressed and we saw Donna’s best of the day photos, it was clear that she had uncovered a hidden talent.  In fact, we think she nailed it.  And, she moved from using the automatic setting on her DSLR to becoming facile with manual mode.

Born in Tasmania, Donna is a teacher of indigenous students in Australia’s Northern Territory.  She took a year off to travel and the photography expedition capped off a month residency in Oaxaca before returning home to begin the school year.

Here are the photos Donna selected as her best of the week.

subject 2 IMG_0934 subject 5 subject 6 IMG_0992 subject 1 subject 12 IMG_0579 IMG_0860 subject 4 subject 3 IMG_0879 flowers (1 of 1) IMG_0701  subject 13

If you are interested in attending the 2014 Day of the Dead Photography Expedition in Oaxaca, Mexico, please contact Norma Hawthorne.  We are assembling next year’s group now.