The little town of San Juan Atitlan is perched on a steep hillside in Guatemala’s high country south of the Mexican border. A single road snakes its way along the contours, and as we drove up, threads of mist lingered in the trees above us. It was mother’s day, one of the year’s great festivals, and all the town seemed to be gathered in the little square that was the hub of the community. So packed we could hardly navigate our Hilux through the throngs. On one side of the square, a bright pink church with big rounded doors was plonked. On another, this covered walkway that fronted a series of administrative buildings. We were here to meet with local government staff to discuss the launching of a new project in the area which would help villagers prepare for the potential of emergencies such as earthquakes, severe storms, flashfloods and landslides that frequent the Huehuetanango area.
The whole town were dressed in traditional costume. The purple and magenta striped shirts, dark woolen waistcoats, white trousers and straw boaters for the men, and intricately patterened purple and magenta dresses for the women. The sea of colour was delightful. I especially loved the contrast between the pale hats and the richly coloured costumes.
These men all seated here in a line, watching the festivities and catching the light through the arches really appealed to me. I shot this with my 60mm, which on the 1.6x 350D sensor gives a nice tight angle and which has a good wide-open aperture too. At f/4 this shot gives some decent focus at the front end of the image, some nice understated bokeh towards the back end, but still enough detail to keep the meaning of the image. One of those shots that turns out more or less how you wanted it.