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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Thirty One: Interpreting cultural festivals -- Mexico’s Day of the Dead > Deathly Pose, Parade of La Katrina, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, 2005
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Deathly Pose, Parade of La Katrina, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, 2005

This image, the last of a series of three I have posted here of San Miguel’s Day of The Dead La Katrina Parade, is entirely different in both concept and execution than the two that precede it. I wanted to emphasize the nature of the costume, so backed away a bit to include the huge hat and long beads that express the Victorian era in which the Katrina story is set. This woman stopped to pose for the many photographers that surrounded her as she reached the steps of The Parroquia, San Miguel’s brilliantly illuminated parish church. I did not move my camera at all. The shutter stayed open for a full second, which normally should have blurred the entire image due to “camera shake.” As it turned out, the softly focused background of lighted church did blur, adding much energy to the image. However the subject herself remains visible. Why? I never use flash, preferring the qualities of natural light. However other photographers shooting this same subject were using their own flashes, and one of them illuminated the woman for a very brief part of the time that my shutter remained open. That neighborly burst of flash was enough to produce a clear image of her hat, painted face, and beads. The long veil she wears creates the faint pattern on her face and neck. This image is less abstract than the others. But when viewed together with them, it adds important context for the La Katrina parade itself.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30
1s f/3.6 at 23.0mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
Phil Douglis16-Nov-2005 22:37
Thanks, Likyin, for your poetic commentary. You have truly entered the image and made it your own. Which is my great pleasure. I began with a simple concept -- a costumed woman as a ghostly spirit. But as you see, your imagination can make far more of this image than originally intended. And that, my friend, is the test of an expressive photograph. What can it do for the imagination of others?
Guest 16-Nov-2005 06:05
It's a day to welcome the dead to come back visit our world for one day. She was looking for it for a whole year and finally it comes. She carefully dressed up with her favorite hat and long beads, which were kept in the cabinet of treasure. There she is, standing in the center of the city she thought she knew, standing there, astonished ... she couldn't clearly recognize the city any more, it's so blurred and so ... surreal ... she's standing there still, with the emptiness in her eyes, feeling the roaring city moving around, into which she couldn't fit herself any more ...

It's an AMAZING image and I love it the most!!! I kept wondering how could you take it and couldn't understand until I read the answer below it.
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