Category Archives: analog photography

Mexican teen Gloria

Photo I shoot with my model Gloria.

I always shoot undiscovered faces or girl-next-door inexperienced ladies. Hence, most of my models have been from Mexico or Texas. It is amazing to work with them because they have a genuine drive for what the artistic side of photography represents. Eventhough I retribute their time spent in the form, they do it for the gratification of proving themselves.

I’ve discovered “civilian” women that focus on how much they are gonna earn are not only tough to work with — photographwise — but they’re actually not good at it… at all. When the art springs from the heart, amazing things can happen. That is why I stick with undiscovered girls, and not only teens like in this case — but also adults or even moms. And let me tell you, I love this approach.

Friends of friends, instagram girls, or just ladies I literally meet on the street — I invite them. Some decline, most don’t. Any other photographer may have different approaches, experiences, or well… even more budget. This is my way of doing photography art, I enjoy it and from what they’ve told me so the ladies.

My photography teacher from university once told me not to rely on paying models, to find other way of paying them like photo prints. The reason because I pitch in a bit of my budget in them is various reasons. I like to give in something in return of their time spent. There is nothing more important to me than time. To leave their jobs to go straight for a shooting instead of home, or to be changing wardrobe instead of the movie night she had prepared with her boyfriend, that means tons to me. The other reason I do pay a small amount is to keep them happy in order to have the possibility of a shooting in the near (or far) future. After all, many of them are not my friends or colleages, but raw strangers. And to believe in me based solely in my work and my words is huge.

Gloria. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña.
Gloria. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña.

Homeless.

Photo I shot at the border town of Nuevo Laredo, one block away from the United States.

While documenting living conditions of people in the border I did a series of this person who enjoyed talking and sharing about his past and personal thoughts.

Shot with analog camera CT-3 Cosina using 35 mm black and white film. Developed and printed in dark room.

Homeless. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña. Homeless. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña.

Mexican girl photoshoot

Photo I shot a while back with an analog camera CT-3 using 35 mm black and white film, and developed in dark room. My model Gloria.

Gloria. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña. Gloria. Copyright 2006 Miguel Omaña.

Tulum, the port city of the Maya world.

Photo and text by Miguel Omaña.

Once the Maya golden age crumbled, Tulum rose as the main port city of the Protectorate of Cobá.

Once a Maya port and trading city which rose after the fall of the great superpowers of the South, Tikal (today Guatemala) and Calakmul. As the golden age crumbled, Maya nations sprinkled the land with tiny nations. This continued until a nation emerged in the Yucatan Peninsula as the heir of the superpowers of old by means of conquest and trade. So the Protectorate of Cobá was born, encompassing much territory. From the vast lands it had, it heavily relied on a port city for trading, Tulum.

Through Tulum, goods were imported and exported in the region.

As this protectorate was enlarged, Cobá achieved great power through trade. Through ports like Tulum goods were imported and exported with other small Maya nations, as well as the rest of Central America and the Caribbean. Tulum must have functioned like an independent Free Zone (a place with few or no taxation), but its importance relied more on it utilitarian purpose.

Location, location… and a reef in the Caribbean.

Tulum’s geographic position was important, so much that a beacon was built to signal trading and traveling vessels. The reef constituted a physical obstacle in front of Mayan coasts. Yet, in front of Tulum’s shores there was (and still is) a safe passage through the reef. The beacon from the high point of Tulum would directly point to the safe route in the sea.

As cities like Chichen Itza grew prominent, Cobá and its port Tulum diminished.

Commercial routes that existed prior to the fall of the superpowers were reestablished. Even trading routes of Maya powers such as Palenque, Yaxchilan, Caracol, Naranjo and Copan were used again, only this time new political players in the Maya world used them. That is how Uxmal, the Mayapan League, and ultimately the now famous city of Chichen Itza (home of one of the seven wonders of the modern world) grew their prestige and political role. The Protectorate of Cobá dwindled, its government collapsed, and ideas and writing from the Maya golden age was silenced.

Then the new era catched up to a changing world.

The realm of trade and navigation yielded to a new era, to a highly militarized changing world. The Maya world would never be the same.


If you enjoy Ancient Mexican history, you might enjoy my ebook novel Till Stars Shut Their Eyes. Available at online retail bookstores or follow the links in the official page


Photograph I shot at Tulum in December 23, 1998 with an analog Cosina CT-3 analog camera using 35 mm film.

Tulum, Mexico. Copyright 1998 Miguel Omaña. Tulum, Mexico. Copyright 1998 Miguel Omaña.