FIFA World Cup 2014

by Othon Gonzales

Every four years, the Worldwide Football Soccer Championship takes place, and the Mexican team prepares the best they can
to do a good playing and be lucky.
FIFA WC 2014
No doubt, the phrase ” While is life, is hope “, is true, because every four years, the Mexican fans think and pray there is a
possibility to win. This youear they played like never before and still lost like always.

The awful truth is they have never gotten even in semifinals, since at this level of the games, they are defeated by
the best teams in the world…Germans, Argentinians, Brazilians, etc…

Anyway, you will see around everybody wearing green t-shirts ( the color of the Mexican uniform ), doing great party while
the team keeps alive.

If you like soccer, come out and join them… you’ll get a lot of fun !

FIFA WC 2014  FIFA WC 2014



by Othon Gonzales

May is the  month with more holidays and celebrations in all the country; The 3rd is the day of the Holy cross all over Mexico, but here in Cozumel is very special because it was here at ” El Cedral ” where the first mass took place in 1519.

Cedral 2014 Horses


Cedral 2014 Traditional Dresses

Later, in 1848, during the ” war of castas “, a Mayan group from Yucatan arrived the island and founded a plantation. They decided to organize a big party to thank for the food they received, every year, from the  2nd to the 5th of May.

Cedral 2014 girls

For this, they invented along the years a very special dance called  ” pool  kekén ” ( head of the pig ) which is still celebrated nowadays. A man carrying on his  head a tray with a head of a pig dances all the place with women grabbing colourful strips around him, dressed up in traditional costumes.

Cedral 2014  Pig Head dance
Around the year 2000 they included a county fair, with horse races, bull fights and a show of a rock star singer or a band to close the event.
Cedral 2014 Charros
If you like the crowds and interact with local people, go there next year !

Tati´s Photo tip:

For photographing the colorful traditional events in Cozumel consider using the “vivid” or “faithful” picture optimization for nicely saturated color.
Also working with a faster shutter-speed helps avoiding motion blur.

Photo Challenge April 2014: FACE(S)

Congratulations to all participants! Scroll down to see the best entries:



Robyn Lynch McLain 1

Our 3 judges voted for Robyn Lynch McLain´entry as the best photo. This is indeed an adorable portrait of a baby´s face. It also received the most “likes” on our facebook page.
Congratuations Robyn!!


Paul Daniel Petock (2)

Paul Daniel Petock took this beautiful black and white photograph.  This is a unusual pose for a very beautiful lady.


paul v d heyden (3)

Paul Von der Heyden submitted the most creative picture for the subject Faces!
Do you see the face?


thorsten pressler 1

Thorsten Pressler caputred these 2 faces. Interesting composition of lines & colors

5, 6, 7 and 8

ka jugo1

Kris Moosie


SeaLife DC1400

Liz Walker

liz walker (2)

Liz Walker


Kris Moosie

Animal´s faces! Our jury was thrilled by all entries – but liked the ones above the most. For their composition (“Rule of Thirds”), softness, color composition & narrow depth of field.


Robyn Lynch McLain 2

Another great shot from Robyn Lynch McLain. A unusual expression for a baby…but so cute.


bread pit

Cordula Schmiedel & Bread Pit send in this one. Yes, also sculptures can make for interesting face photos. We liked that there was nothing distracting in the sculptures background.


amy cooper (2)

Amy Cooper took this awesome portrait of her son. The idea to tone it sepia underlines his intense eyes.


To see the entire album with all entries please feel free to visit the Cozumel Photo Tour Photography Challenge:

More challenges to come.

To participate in the future please visit the Cozumel Photo Tour on facebook or follow us on Twitter: CozPhoTour


SEMANA SANTA (Easter in Mexico)

by Othon Gonzales

Since the 70 % of the population of Mexico has been Catholic for the last 300 years, we  ” Semana Santa ” every year. The most popular performance of the ” Passion of Jesus ” takes place in the neighborhood ” Iztapalapa ” of Mexico City.

Passion of Jesus

Every year a young man offers himself to play the role of Jesus and has to prepared spiritually an physically, because on ” Viernes Santo ” ( Good Friday ) he will be whipped, and suffer exactly the torture Jesus did along a similar distance, charging a wooden cross the same size, including a crown of thorns on his head. Of course there are the Romans, the Virgin Mary and everybody else in disguise.

Passion of Jesus in Mexico

More than a million people go there to see the show which ends at 3:00 pm after ” Jesus ” has been crucified ( without nails ), taken down from the cross to be driven in an ambulance to the hospital. ( Actually, this show is not interesting to me ).

The good news  is ” Semana Santa ” is the most popular vacation of the year, so, another million people leave the city to enjoy the sun at the beach, so it’s the perfect time to visit the city, without pollution, traffic, and you can use the ” Metro ” ( Subway ) without receiving a free massage.
Enjoy it !

Tati´s Photo tip:
Photographing religious or cultural events please show respect to the local people celebrating. Preferably use a longer focal length lens (or zoom) to remain in a distance to not disturb the actions. Observe closely and remain in the background.Katholic church in Cozumel  Statue de Guadelupe

Mayan Ancient Drums

by Othon Gonzales

Mayan drums are the most ancient instruments of percussion made from a trunk of the Zapote tree, hollowed out by hands, with no tools.
The first ones were horizontal named ” TUNKUL ” with a slit on one side to make different tunes, played with wood sticks.

Tunkul - Mayan drum

Then also made the ” AYOTL ” , turtle shells played with the hands.

Ayotl - turtle drum of the Mayans

The latest ones were vertical ” HUEHUETL ” hollowed and covered with a fur of a jaguar, often carved with figures of animals and persons.

Huehuetl, vertical drum

All of them were played in ceremonies, war and celebrations, sometimes with a poetic, loving sense.

Mayan Instruments

If you go to the Carnival parades, you will see that nowadays, there are groups of drummers called ” batucada “, playing with an extraordinary rhythm, that are a reminiscence of that glorious civilization.

Tati´s Photo tip:
Most of the cameras have the ability of shooting video, too. Especially when you shoot something that is related to music – don´t forget about recording a short video.
Listen to the ancient instruments described above:

Rehersal – during an exhibition at the UQROO in Cozumel

Ancient Mexican Musical Instruments

by Othon Gonzales

One of the most popular ones is the ” marimba “. It’s an instrument of the percussion family similar to a xilophone.
Mexican Marimba
It’s origins come from Africa.
The natives there invented the ” balafon ” which uses empty pumpkins all sizes below to create the sound in different tunes.
African origin of the marimba

When the Africans were brought to Central America in the 1700s, they brought it with them and after a century, a Mexican man from Chiapas developed the “marimba” with wooden bars, struck with mallets. It was played first in 1892 in that state and 50 years later it was been played all over the country.

It can be played with two or three men and you can see them here on the island at the main plaza outside the restaurants.

Marimba showcase

Now, if you want to see a marimba and also an African balafon, go to the music store ” Pax ” (music in Maya) on Juarez Ave, between 10th and 15th Ave. and ask for Alex… He is a very kind person and will show them to you.

Tati´s Photo tip:

Taking portraits of musicians and bands is an experience unlike any other. Conventional rules of photography need not apply. Creativity is a given – and pushing the limits of innovation is required. Storytelling quality is paramount.

Best results are acheived with a small f-stop number (f 4 or less) for a narrow DOF (depth of field). Also using your zoom (longer folcal length) might lead you to graet images. Choose the Portrait setting on your point-and-shoot camera.

Take lots of pictures, feel the music & ENJOY!

Close-Up Mirimba

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