I first went to Antigua in 2007 and enjoyed the colour, architecture and vibe then as well. My first trip I was there just for an afternoon- on the way back from several days’ worth of field visits up in the far north of Guatemala (Huehuetanango)- so the volume of photos I took was pretty limited. Going back three years later, I was interested to see that it was much as I had remembered it, and I even revisted some of the same old photo spots from my first trip (and yes, apologies, you’ve seen these two older images on this blog before).
This perspective was the one that amused me most. The shot at the top was taken in May 2007. The shot beneath, in June 2010. I’m intrigued by the fact that despite the obvious re-paint (and the new street-name sign), the more recent scene looks every bit as scuffed and worn as the older one- I wonder if they’ve developed that look deliberately? I also love that the dodgy wiring box hasn’t been touched, despite the cosmetic overhaul. And, very best of all, there’s still a little old lady sitting on the corner with her basket. Life changes. But not all that much.
(Incidentally, both photos were taken with similar setup; the first, with a Canon EOS 350D, and the second with a Canon EOS 400D- effectively the same camera with a slight improvement in performance and megapixels; both were taken on the same lens, a Tokina AT-X 12-24mm f/4 wide-angle which has the nickname ‘Gustav’ for its rather large and rotund presence).
This next shot is of a ceramic stop-sign on a mottled wall- probably my favourite shot from my first trip to Antigua. I loved the blend of colour and texture. I managed to find the same corner wall again this time, and the shot at bottom is what I took away. As you can see, not much has changed (indeed if I recall, even the scrawl on the wall was the same in ’07, but cropped out of the first image). Funny, though, that the photographer’s eye changes over time. In the first shot, I thought the graffiti was unsightly and I cropped it out; in the second, I’ve come to feel that it’s an integral part of the wallscape and have deliberately included it.
Again, the first photograph was snapped on a Canon EOS 350D (the one that died in Nepal… tragic) and the second with its replacement, the EOS 400D. Both were taken with a Canon EF 60mm f/2.8 USM Macro. The lens is really a portrait lens- and a beautiful one at that- but has close to a 1:1 field of view (very slight telephoto) which means that capturing walls, windows, signs and other structural details, the distortion of straight lines is kept to a minimum. It’s probably my favourite lens on the 400D.
(My main camera, the Canon EOS 5D, is more of a behemoth and did not come with me on this trip, partly for weight and partly for insurance- or lack there of- reasons. The glassware I have for that body is vastly superior to those for the 400D, however, so I will try and make sure it comes on more trips with me into the future…)
Lots more Antigua shots to come (lucky you!) but I thought this pairing was a fun one to share, to see how both setting and photographer have changed (and not) over the last three years.