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User / www.SamAntonioPhotography.com / Sets / El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) 2012
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N 30 B 101.4K C 33 E Oct 30, 2012 F Feb 24, 2013
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“The word death is not pronounced in New York, in Paris, in London, because it burns the lips. The Mexican, in contrast, is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it, it is one of his favorite toys and his most steadfast love." - Octavio Paz, a native of Mexico and winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in literature

El Dia del Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is popular celebration throughout Latin America, especially in Mexico. I know zombies are the flavor of the month in today’s popular culture, but that is not what this celebration is about.

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday and is celebrated throughout Mexico. Family and friends get together to pray and remember their loved ones who have passed away. This is not a time of mourning, but rather it is a joyful celebration of life, food, friends and family.

The history of the Day of the Dead is a syncretism of Pre-Hispanic and Spanish customs. The celebration takes place on November 1–2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2).

In the beautiful colonial city of Oaxaca, Mexico I was able to take in the sights, sounds and smiles of the Day of the Dead.

On the days leading up to November 1 and 2 (along with celebrating the Catholic holidays, on the 1st, people celebrate the lives of lost children, and on the 2nd they celebrate the spirits of adults) many parties erupt on the streets of Oaxaca. This is another Day of the Dead tradition called Comparsas which is a carnival-like procession of people in costume, dancing and wild music accompanied by a banda band (think Mexican Polka music).

In the morning, young children, dressed in costumes, parade around town on their way to school. These children comparsas circle around the town’s zocalo (public square) which made for a vibrant public spectacle.

Of course I was not merely a spectator for this spirited celebration, I jumped right in with the comparsa! I took this photo of this young girl at a close distance since I had my Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II prime lens. Zooming with your feet and not with your lens barrel can yield some spectacular results.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Tags:   Day of the Dead 2012 Day of the Dead Oaxaca El Dia del Muertos Mexico Sam Antonio Sam Antonio Photography Portrait Eyes Oaxaca Oaxaca City Looking At Camera Waist Up Costume Front View Day Of The Dead Purple Childhood One Person Child Mexican Culture Celebration One Girl Only Photography Fashion Latin America Children Only Earring. People Innocence Hat Outdoors Close-up North America Standing Religious Celebration Traditional Culture Day Spooky Horizontal North America parade procession religion religious festival skeleton street scene traditional clothing travel urban world culture Children Portrait Photographing Day of the Dead Comparsa Zocalo Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EOS Rebel XS Travel Photography All Saints Day All Souls Day

N 14 B 39.0K C 20 E Nov 1, 2012 F Nov 29, 2012
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One of the highlights of photographing El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico was visiting the small town of San Agustin Etla about ten miles outside of Oaxaca. The town is known for their wild celebrations, outrageous costumes and nonstop Banda music.

Most of the world is familiar with Halloween since it is a huge commercial enterprise, especially in the United States. While death is treated as something to be feared in Halloween tradition, the exact opposite holds true with the Day of the Dead where death is looked upon as a source of celebration.

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday and is celebrated throughout Mexico. Family and friends get together to pray and remember their loved ones who have passed away. The celebration takes place on November 1–2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2).

The Day of the Dead celebrations are embodied in the town of San Agustin Etla where my five senses were duly assaulted by outrageous costumes, deafening music, enticing street food and a boisterous party atmosphere.

The evening’s festivities culminated in a friendly town rivalry in which the neighboring town paraded over to San Agustin’s central square to begin a face to face show down. I knew the atmosphere was going to be unhinged when I saw a security squad of men with batons form a human barricade between the two towns.

For a good hour or so the two towns partied on their respective sides of the street trying to outdo one another with flamboyant costumes, riotous dancing and piercing Banda bands. Of course, I happen to be right in the middle of all of it.

I set my camera on a low ISO setting and fired my Canon 550 EX Speedlite flash to “drag the shutter” which gave this scene a sense of motion to convey all the commotion that was happening around me.

After experiencing the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico, Halloween will never be the same.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Tags:   El Dia del Muertos El Dia de los Muertos Day of the Dead Day of the Dead 2012 Day of the Dead Oaxaca Day of the Dead San Agustin Day of the Dead Etla Mexico Travel Mexico Photography Oaxaca Oaxaca, Mexico ©Sam Antonio Photography Costumes Party Color Banda Band Mexican Culture Traditional Culture Tradition Shutter Drag Dragging the Shutter Street Photography Travel Photography Candid Photography Flash Photography Canon 5D Mark II People Horizontal Celebration Parade Participate Holiday Latin America Waist Up Arts Culture and Entertainment Dead Walking Dead Bizarre Horror Happiness Togetherness Looking At Camera Outdoors Selective Focus Human Body Part Close-up Costume Head And Shoulders North America Cheerful Paint Standing Cheering Religious Celebration Mexico Night Human Skeleton Spooky Incidental People Portrait Photography How to use Flash Motion Movement

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I am back from my epic Mexico trip just in time for Thanksgiving here in America! I am still processing the photos from my amazing time in photographing the most Mexican holidays, El Dia del Muertos or The Day of the Dead, in Oaxaca City.

The Mexican people believe that the spirits of the dead come back to visit the living on earth, usually this occurs on the 1 and 2 of November and on these nights and others, many families gather in local cemeteries to celebrate the dead. They cover the gravesites with colorful flowers and thousands of candles. Many generations within a family sit around the gravesite and have a party for dead family members. They eat their favorite foods, drink mescal, a liquor made from the agave cactus, and they sing while the mariachis play the deceased’s favorite songs.

Just outside of Oaxaca City is Xoxocotlan Cemetery where you can truly experience The Day of the Dead festivities. On the night of October 31, many local families begin their nightly vigils in this small cemetery, that is densely packed, as they sit by the tombs and wait for the return of the spirits.

I stood off in the distance observing this family before I approached them and asked permission to take a photo.

“¿Photo, por favor?”

The two gentlemen responded with a nod of approval all the while the two young ladies were completely unaware of my presence since they had their complete attention towards their cell phones and texting as fast as their fingers would allow.

Finally, the older gentlemen on the left started to speak of their deceased relatives and the two young ladies quickly put away their cell phones and gave him their undivided attention.

Of all the photographs I took that evening this one happens to be my favorite. This photograph embodies the essence of El Dia del Muertos with the portrayal of generations of families coming together as one to celebrate, learn and respect the spirits of their deceased relatives.

Photographed with my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS lens at 6400 ISO using just the ambient light of the surrounding candles.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

Why don't you join me on Facebook?
Still figuring out Google +
Follow me on Twitter!
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Tags:   Day of the Dead Day of the Dead 2012 El Dia del Muertos Day of the Dead Oaxaca Mexico Mexican Culture Mexican Tradition Travel Photography Portrait Low Light Full Frame Camera High ISO Cemetery Gravesite Night Candle Natural Light Ambient Light Copyright SamAntonio.com Relative People Horizontal Waist Up Mexico Traditional Culture Flower Day Oaxaca Celebration Visit Latin America Holiday Arts Culture and Entertainment Dead Grave Oaxaca City Photographing the Day of the Dead Mexican Men Mexican Women Mexican Girls Spirits Death Memories Outdoors Electric Light Traditional Culture Night Decoration Memorial Marigold Altar Illuminated Canon 5D Mark II Review Sam Antonio Mexico Vacation Mexican Celebration Mexican Traditions November Celebrating the Dead Dead Relatives

N 72 B 57.5K C 42 E Oct 31, 2012 F Oct 31, 2012
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11/1/2014 - Happy Day of the Dead!

A re-post from my amazing trip to Oaxaca City, Mexico where I photographed the celebration of El Dia del Muertos or The Day of the Dead. Have a great weekend!

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Hola from the colonial city of Merida in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico! I am still processing the photos from my amazing time in photographing the most Mexican holidays, El Dia del Muertos or The Day of the Dead, in Oaxaca City.

The Mexican people believe that the spirits of the dead come back to visit the living on earth, usually this occurs on the 1 and 2 of November and on these nights and others, many families gather in local cemeteries to celebrate the dead. They cover the gravesites with colorful flowers and thousands of candles. Many generations within a family sit around the gravesite and have a party for dead family members. They eat their favorite foods, drink mescal, a liquor made from the agave cactus, and they sing while the mariachis play the deceased’s favorite songs.

Just outside of Oaxaca City is Xoxocotlan Cemetery where you can truly experience The Day of the Dead festivities. On the night of October 31, many local families begin their nightly vigils in this small cemetery, that is densely packed, as they sit by the tombs and wait for the return of the spirits.

I photographed this little boy as he was placing a candle on his deceased relative’s grave. I shot this handheld at 6400 ISO using just the ambient light of the candles.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

Why don't you join me on Facebook?
Still figuring out Google +
Follow me on Twitter!
I'm over at Pinterest too!
Sam's Photography Blog
Sam's Travel Photography Gallery

Tags:   Day of the Dead 2012 El Dia del Muertos Oaxaca Mexico Graveyard Gravesite Candle Natural Light Boy Child People Travel Destinations Square Outdoors Cemetery Day Of The Dead Traditional Culture Tree Fire Autumn Dawn Michoacan State Religion Illuminated Mexican Culture Color Image Medium Group Of People Photography Latin America. Portrait High ISO Full Frame Sensor Oaxaca City Children Portrait Halloween Full Frame' Child Portrait Full Frame Low Light Photography Death Day of the Dead Mexico Day of the Dead Oaxaca Spirits Mescal Ghost Mezcal Dia del Muertos

N 27 B 47.4K C 37 E Oct 31, 2012 F Feb 26, 2013
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El Dia del Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is popular celebration throughout Latin America, especially in Mexico. I know zombies are the flavor of the month in today’s popular culture, but that is not what this celebration is about.

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday and is celebrated throughout Mexico. Family and friends get together to pray and remember their loved ones who have passed away. This is not a time of mourning, but rather it is a joyful celebration of life, food, friends and family.

The history of the Day of the Dead is a syncretism of Pre-Hispanic and Spanish customs. The celebration takes place on November 1–2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2).

In the beautiful colonial city of Oaxaca, Mexico I was able to take in the sights, sounds and smiles of the Day of the Dead.

On the days leading up to November 1 and 2 (along with celebrating the Catholic holidays, on the 1st, people celebrate the lives of lost children, and on the 2nd they celebrate the spirits of adults) many parties erupt on the streets of Oaxaca. This is another Day of the Dead tradition called Comparsas which is a carnival-like procession of people in costume, dancing and wild music accompanied by a banda band (think Mexican Polka music).

On the morning of October 31, young children, dressed in costumes and accompanied by their parents and teachers, paraded around town on their way to school. The children comparsas circled around the town’s zocalo (public square) which made for a vibrant public spectacle.

Photographing this procession was exciting, but technically difficult at times since there were fast moving subjects in low light. Two keys elements in street photography are preparedness and patience and they surely came in handy that morning.

I remembered a quote from photojournalist Steve McCurry when he learned to watch and wait on life. “If you wait,” he realized, “people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view.”

I waited patiently for a “soul to drift up into my view” and I was rewarded with this bewitching portrait.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

Facebook | Google + | Twitter | Pinterest | Photography Blog | Travel Photography Gallery

Tags:   Day Of The Dead Day of the Dead 2012 Day of the Dead Oaxaca Mexico Mexico Travel Portrait Sam Antonio Sam Antonio Photography El Dia del Muertos Witch Vertical Looking At Camera Waist Up Costume Front View Childhood Oaxaca One Person Mexican Culture Celebration Photography Fashion Latin America Travel Photography Dressing Up Mexican People Mystery Outdoors Color Image Incidental People Holiday November Festival. Witch's Hat Steve McCurry Travel Portrait Street Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Canon EOS Rebel XS Religious Festival Photographing Day of the Dead Vertical Portrait 'Soul Dia del Muertos Soul will drift up into view October One Woman Steve McCurry Quote


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