A Trip To Ensenada

ensenada

After 3 hours of pop music, un-healthy snacks, and shallow conversations we arrived at our first destination: Ensenada. The first thing we see on the outskirts of the city is the famous wave of “San Miguel” (yes, waves can be famous, a weird concept you get used to if you hang out with beach bums). The waves look surprisingly good so we hop in for a short session before our check-in. Alex’s surfing mantra is: you never walk away from good waves.

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With wet hair and salty skin we cruised into the city. Ensenada is the third biggest city in Baja California yet it doesn’t feel too big or overwhelming. For the next three days we strolled around town trying every flavor Ensenada has to offer.

June Gloom dooms Ensenada’s early summer, the marine stratus covers its skies and chills the temperature for days at a time.  A gray monotone light covered my images diffusing any harsh lights.

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One of my favorite meals was at one of the food co-ops. Food co-ops in Baja are open spaces where different restaurants share communal table space. The concept is similar to a mall food court but with more character. I had an amazing vegetable ceviche from Peninsula that didn’t only taste good but looked quite pretty.

weekend trip to ensenada

Here’s Daniel, chef of Peninsula: guilty of making a mean ceviche, with or without fish.

weekend trip to ensenada

weekend trip to ensenada

On the second afternoon we stopped by the Hotel del Pacifico Rivera. We got lost inside it’s huge empty rooms, spied on a class of tango dancers and drank a big Margarita. They claim that the famous drink was invented in their bar, as do many other restaurants in Baja. I don’t know if this is the original margarita, but I do know that they mastered the craft and they deliver it in a classical charming style.

weekend trip to ensenada

weekend trip to ensenada

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Olives and other kinds of pickled foods line the side of the road on the way to “La Bufadora”. Yellows, greens, reds and oranges pile up on the shelves of the tiny improvised markets.

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The drive to see “La Bufadora” is an amazing scenic route as pretty as the US 101. “La Bufadora” consists of a massive spout of water being thrown up in the air even when the ocean looks as still as a mirror.

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At night, we tried different restaurants, ice cream places (that carry weird tasty flavors like balsamic vinegar strawberry) and coffee shops. Coffee shops abound in Ensenada. There are more than one per block and they are all packed. I am not a coffee drinker so I wouldn’t be able to tell you how good their beans are, but I do drink tea and the best tea shop in town was Camelia. They successfully decorated the space in a rustic/glam style. Their tea selection is impressive and they follow strict brewing times, tea pot selection, water temperature, storage and temperature conditions to guarantee a delightful tea taste.

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Thanks for coming to Ensenada with me, I hope you enjoyed it!

Mucho Amor!

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5 inspiring photographers in 10 pictures

inspiring photographers, Lulight

Since the beginning of time creative beings have sought inspiration. Often times inspiration comes from events in our lives or things that surround us. Many people also seem to find inspiration in one another and they tend to grow and change depending on who inspires them. Over the past couple of years, I have drawn inspiration from dozens of amazing artists.  Recently I was reflecting on the art that inspires me, and I wanted to share ten photographs from five photographers that have inspired me lately.

Gregory Colbert

His work is spiritual, poetic and just plain beautiful. I love how deep it is in meaning and simple in line colors and poses. He explores the interconnection between animals and humans. He finds the balance and co-existence between the two species and translates that idea into peaceful compositions. Both his love for animals and the meditative feelings of his art resonate deeply with me. My mother still wonders how I didn’t end up working with animals in some way.

In order to create these images he submerged himself in the different cultures. The main challenge is gaining the trust of both his subjects, the animal and the person.

In the images below you’ll see how dynamic yet peaceful his compositions can be. There seems to be some kind of a dance between the figures and shapes.

inspiring photographers

inspiring photographers

Cecilia Paredes

This Peruvian photographer has had me at “hello” for the past two years. No photoshop here! she calls her work performance for camera. Her body of work is mesmerizing and uber consistent. In her own words: “My initial inspiration was the recurrent theme of displacement and relocation”. As a Uruguayan transplant in the US and having to spend the last 10 years of my life moving homes every 2 years this is something I can relate to.

It is crazy to me to see the many different ways we can explore our souls. These images are to me a representation of that.

inspiring photographers

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Grete Stern

Grete was born in Germany but developed his work as a photographer in Argentina. She created photomontages way before computers in the late ’40s and early ’50s. During those years Sterne worked for a women’s magazine illustrating reader’s dreams that were sent to the editors. She created one image a week. She’d use friends and family as models and take other elements to compose the images from her personal archive.

Do I need to explain why I love her work? Ok, it’s the fact that she uses photography to explore deep in the self and to translate inner landscapes.

inspiring photographers

inspiring photographers

Maleonn 

This Chinese artist delivers strong political messages in a hilarious and beautiful way. I am really drawn to art that is not only beautiful but also conversational. His work is a little more dark and nostalgic. He produces so much that it is hard to keep up with what he’s up to. His compositions are full of small details that many time he stages and others he draws. His works translate a turmoiled inner world that’s complex, full of small references and a little grotesque sometimes

inspiring photographers

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Maggy Taylor

Maggy Taylor tells magical stories with modern day tools yet they seem to have happened ages ago. Her dreamlike images will sure to make your mind spin. It is amazing for me to see that she uses a simple and small point and shoot camera. This images are not staged, they are a combination of things she find in walks and flat bed scanned old photographs.

In Taylor’s words : “I like to balance a darker feeling with a touch of humor whenever possible” . Basically they do have a lot in common with Maleonn  yet the end result is miles away. Seeing this is a reminder that there is always a way to be original delivering the same old message. Why? well, because a little of our soul goes into what we do and that cannot be imitated by anyone else. Our upbringing, thoughts and treats go into the making of that concept, message…whatever you are trying to convey, you do it your way.

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Signs point to yes

 

Being inspired by other photographers doesn’t mean seeing how I can do it their way. Not at all. Their way was build upon their own path and personal experiences. To me its a reminder of how many different ways there are to translate similar messages. It is a  reminder that after all we are the same but our paths have shaped us a little different. And it is from that place from where we can start building.

Mucho Amor,

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To hold, to love and to let it go

I always thought reptile owners were eccentric people. Then, one sunny spring evening, a adolescent green iguana appeared outside my apartment causing every single neighbor to wow and comment, yet, none of them seemed to be excited to host the cold blooded animal until it’s owner showed up.

I have hosted chickens, cats, birds, dogs, fish and all kinds of rodents before so giving a roof and proper living conditions to the docile iguana hanging out on my railing didn’t seemed too complicated.

Little did I know that reptiles require a completely different kind of attention with special humidity and temperatures, that green iguanas are one of the United State’s most abandoned pets, or that I was soon to become one of those eccentric people.

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green iguana pet photography, Lulight photography

green iguana pet photography, Lulight photography

By week three the Iguana was named Patience (not to be confused with “Precious”) and I decided to take down all of the ads Alex and I posted to find the original owner. The ad didn’t help us find the owner, but it did introduce us to a caring community of reptile lovers. We are still very thankful to all of the strangers that called to tell us all they knew about what we needed to do to keep her healthy and happy.

Patience grew on us and became part of our family. One year and a half went by and we became more and more enchanted by the green climber family member. But things changed, and  Alex and I needed to move temporarily and couldn’t take her with us. The process of finding her a good home was hard because we were pretty picky. Luckily we found her the perfect place, with a garden, another iguana, and an iguana expert and lover as her new family. It was really hard to let her go and I wish she was still with us. Sometimes, the right thing to do is to give the ones you love a better home even if that home is not with you.

green iguana pet photography, Lulight photography

green iguana pet photography, Lulight photography

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I always thought that pet photography was something for cheesy people. Yet now, I’m sharing photos I took of Alex, Patience and I. I wanted some pretty pictures to remember our short time together. Yes, I am very happy I did them, I hold no guilt or embarrassment.

What is to be eccentric or cheesy after all? They are just definitions that keep us in a box.

May we always challenge and redefine our judgments.Maybe by doing so we’ll find new ways to see and to love.

green iguana pet photography, Lulight photography

green iguana pet photography, Lulight photography

green iguana pet photography, Lulight photography

green iguana pet photography, Lulight photography

green iguana pet photography, Lulight photography

green iguana pet photography, Lulight photography