Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Pick a Place


Who’da thunk? It’s ironic that I should pick this country as my choice for Tina Schell’s photo challenge this week. She writes in part, “Last week Amy challenged us to share images of the countryside and/or a small town. This week we’re asking you to look a bit farther afield. Each of us at some point has visited a place that holds special memories. It may have been a small town, a big city, or even better, an entire country.  We’d like you to capture the spirit of a place that is vivid in your memory. What was it that drew you in and why did it capture YOUR heart?” You can read her entire challenge post here.

OK, the truth is, I don’t really know the entire country or even very much of it. My impressions of the friendly people and beautiful scenery are limited to the western coastline resort communities where many an American expat have relocated in their retirement. After so many years of ignoring our neighbors to the south, partly because North Dakota is not exactly next door, my son called to let us know that he and the love of his life were getting married. They planned to be married in Mazatlán, Mexico.

I won’t go into more detail about the wedding, but the photo above features one of the views from the hotel terrace where the ceremony was held on that beautiful February day. Since our first visit to Mazatlán, we have returned to that city by the sea and other coastal resorts several times on family vacations over the years.

Not to be outdone, our daughter and her husband chose another Mexican resort, Ixtapa, to formalize their nuptials as well. The sunset view from the beach invites the photographer in all of us. I was not surprised at the number of people on the beach taking photos of this very sunset that January 15.

Add to that the several resort communities and surrounding small towns we’ve visited on cruise ship excursions and the photo opportunities are plentiful. Just this year we had the opportunity to visit Acapulco and the famous cliff diver show. There were lots of gringo touristas like us, but a long zoom lens is helpful in avoiding the crowds in the photos, at least.

This young man is earning his keep by demonstrating a skill practiced by his ancestors at shaving the coconut meat using a very sharp knife. I’m sure he was working for the gringo tips that were left for him.

I conclude my visit to Mexico with one of my favorite images of Mexico (above) and a note about the opening image in this challenge post. The two beach vendors comparing notes at the end of the day (so I surmise, anyway.) The photo was captured during the golden hour on the beach at Mazatlán.

In the opening image, I captured a street performer at San Juan del Cabo playing and singing for tips. I used a bit of artistic license on that photo by applying some of the artistic filters in Adobe’s Photoshop Elements, the “poor man’s” version of that powerful image manipulation program. Most browsers will allow you to click on any of the images to enlarge it for a better view. Thanks again to Tina for allowing me to share memories of our trips “South of the border, down Mexico Way.”

John Steiner



8 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Pick a Place

  1. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Enjoy Cozumel… Travel tip from the fraternal order of pretentious douche bags, rent a moped, it’s a small island & you can explore the whole city or stay in the tourist zone. It’s a good time! Do not eat the “famous” garlic bread at the famed pizza joint. Not only is it not good, it’s mostly air.

  2. A wonderful choice John! How nice to have had not one but two of your children marry there – obviously they inherited your sense of adventure 😊. Terrific photos, loved your opener!

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