We are in our last full day of our 15 day visit to Puerto Vallarta. This time we stayed at our vacation club located beside the Marina which means we have a suite with a kitchen and living room. Basically a small apartment in a resort. This is the second time we have stayed at this resort and our 7th visit to Puerto Vallarta. After this many visits, it has meant that I have to adjust my mindset when going out to shoot some images. I haven’t shot any of the iconic places as much as I did in the past, although I did a few more shots along the Malecon and some sunset shots.
I also made the effort to get up well before sunrise and headed over to the marina to get set up for a sunrise shot. It was a very enjoyable time as I met a nice ex-pat lady named Jules and we had a nice visit while waiting for the sunrise.
As I mentioned, our vacation club is beside the marina so it’s quite a distance to the central region where the Malecon and the majority of the activity is going on. It’s about 1-1/2 hr walk or 15 min ride on the local buses. One thing to mention about these buses in Puerto Vallarta is the lack of springs and on the cobbled streets, they are referred to as a Mexican Massage. It takes some getting used to, but the price is right and if you are too foot sore for the long walk, they are very frequent.
I decided that on this trip I would shoot primarily for color images. This is a shift in mindset for me as I usually concentrate on black and white with only an occasional color shot. Of course with digital I could process the shot either way but there is a difference when actually looking for shots. It’s hard to explain but I guess it is mostly to do with the light and contrast. Another thing to consider when shooting for color is really being careful with the background to ensure there isn’t some bright and flashy object that will compete with the main subject of the shot. I have to admit that it was more challenging for me as I’ve gotten a bit lazy in this aspect because of the amount of black and white that I’ve done on previous trips.
Lighting can be tricky with color street shots. There was a festival going on from Dec. 1 until Dec. 12 and everyday in late afternoon there was a procession and lots of crowds on the streets. Although it was later in the day, the light was still quite strong and hard so I was constantly trying to keep the sun to my left or right and slightly behind me.
I also spent a lot of time looking for shady areas and trying to position myself so I could minimize or eliminate bright hotspots in the background.
Sometime though, I just shot the scene I wanted to capture even though the lighting situation was far from ideal.
On a couple of occasions I asked to take a portrait. I gave out my card and told them if they emailed me, I would email back their pictures for them to do with as they pleased. This got a very favorable reaction and the pictures really turned out nice. I do hope to hear from them.
So to sum it up, this trip has been a bit different for me on the photography side. Even though we have visited here many times, I was able to make the photography interesting and challenging. The amount of pictures has dropped from other visits but I did shoot every day and enjoyed other activities as well. Now I have to get home and get ready for Hong Kong and Bangkok in 3 weeks. That is going to be very interesting.
The cameras I had on this trip were the Fujifilm X100S and the Fujifilm X-Pro1. The X100S has a 23mm lens and for the X-Pro1, I brought all my lenses for it. The 14mm, 18mm, 35mm, and 60mm.