Antigua Photo Walk Natural Framing

Antigua Photo Walk: Capturing Life in Motion

In Guatemala, North America by Erik Van Gilson16 Comments

An image is worth a thousand words – find out what happens on an Antigua Photo Walk around Guatemala’s most charming city with leading photographer Rudy Giron!

Reasons to Improve your Photography Skills

Digital cameras and the rise of social media has made taking pictures and sharing them a daily occurrence.

It’s just too easy, which is why you will find amateur photographers from adolescent girls to their grandmothers online not to mention travel bloggers like us here at DIY Travel HQ 🙂

There are foodies, those that want to showcase their kids, and others that just want to show off.

What is missing is a compelling story to differentiate your photo from the rest.

Sunset selfies Kuta Beach

Why watch sunset when you can use the Golden Hour for selfies?

Sharing your life with others takes time, and if the algorithms on social media platforms like Instagram don’t like your picture, then no one will see it.

This is even more important for aspiring bloggers, and the reason we decided to take the course.

After finishing the Antigua Photo Walk, we wish Rudy could have given a seminar to all the people who took the most ridiculous photos of us along our travels.

It seems that only 10% of people know how to frame a picture, which is photography 101.

Antigua Photo Walk Photographers in Need of Help

This is an okay picture someone took for us as the worst get deleted. If you don’t see anything wrong, then you need to take an Antigua Photo Walk.

Who is Rudy Giron?

Rudy Giron is a professional Central American photographer.

He was born in Guatemala City, and has lived in the U.S. and Mexico before calling Antigua home.

His ongoing endeavor, Antigua Daily Photo, has seen a daily picture posted for roughly 10 years straight.

By default, this has created one of the largest English web-based references about Guatemala travel & culture.

Check out his work, and subscribe for daily inspiration.

Antigua Photo Walk with Rudy Giron Explaining a Rule

You can always recognize Rudy Giron on the streets of Antigua by his photographer’s vest.

Antigua Photo Walk Requirements

The Photographic Composition Tips and Techniques workshop (Q240 / $32.50) is perfect for anyone that wants simple techniques that they can incorporate into their daily pictures.

This is not a technical class that focuses on camera settings, but rather how to make the most of the camera you have.

This includes DSLR’s, point-and-shoots, and even smartphones.

Antigua Photo Walk One on One Instructions

See the shot. Take the picture. Analyze the results.

Antigua Photo Walk Tour Themes

Rudy Giron has three themes that he commonly offers on an Antigua Photo Walk Tour.

They are as follows:

  • Photographic Composition Tips & Techniques (8-10 am)
  • Street Photography – Portraits of Strangers (10:30 am – 12:30 pm)
  • Architecture and Mermaid Hunting in Antigua, Guatemala (3-5 pm)

Depending on the group, he can also offer the following themes.

  • Secrets of Antigua, Guatemala
  • Around the Market & Bus Terminal
  • Around the Villages of Antigua, Guatemala

What to Expect on an Antigua Photo Walk Tour

You start the Antigua Photo Walk tour at Maximo Nivel Intercultural Center at the predetermined time.

For us, it was at 8 am for the Photographic Composition Tips & Techniques class.

Rudy begins each workshop by handing out a checklist full of objectives, and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated during the tour.

You then spend roughly 30 minutes going over the lesson plan, and understanding the fundamental goals before hitting the streets.

Antigua Photo Walk with Rudy Giron Presentation

You have to learn the basics before you can practice them on an Antigua Photo Walk.

What’s Rudy Giron’s recipe for great photos?

He believes it is 50% light, 25% composition, and 25% subject matter.

During the presentation, and on the streets he reinforces his techniques with predetermined photoshoot locations and constructive criticism.

We will cover three of his methods on how to capture stunning pictures below.

To find out the rest, you will have to take one of his courses. 🙂

Antigua Photo Walk Checklist

If you follow the checklist, you will get better pictures every time.

  • Natural Framing and Negative Space

When you are taking pictures, why should you do all the work?

Let the world around you enhance your pictures as it naturally creates perfect framing.

Noticing these frames as you explore is what Rudy helps you to achieve.

Antigua Photo Walk Natural Framing Window

You have seen similar pictures, but now it is your time to take your own.

One of the most obvious natural frames is a tunnel.

However, what do you do if the background is cluttered or there are obstructions that distract from the picture?

The simple answers are to take a look from a different perspective, and to zoom with your feet to eliminate the clutter.

There is always a way to improve upon a setting and capture it in ‘the best lighting’.

Antigua Photo Walk Natural Framing & Negative Space

Try to reduce the visual clutter for a simplified, but aesthetically pleasing picture.

  • Rule of Direction and Negative Space

The rule of direction indicates that subjects appear more photogenic when they are coming towards you, and have room left to travel.

This means that people should not be standing head-on and dead-center in photographs despite our narcissism, and thinking we are the center of the universe.

A simple way to achieve this effect while stationary is a tilting of the body or head direction.

Antigua Photo Walk Street Musicians

Try to angle your subjects so they are facing you.

The example Rudy used was having me walk towards the Antigua Photo Walk participants, and having them snap pictures while I still had room left to travel.

Notice how this picture is very simplistic too.

There is very little clutter to distract your eye when viewing the photograph.

This is negative space. As you can see, many of the rules are used together to enhance the picture and reinforce your learning.

Antigua Photo Walk Rule of Direction

Less is more, except when taking into consideration the subject’s proximity.

  • Manual Camera Settings

As we mentioned earlier, camera settings are not a key element of the Photographic Composition Tips & Techniques Class.

That being said, Rudy does cover what aperture and shutter speed to use as a base and adjust as needed.

To quote Rudy, “The only time you switch your camera to Auto is when you hand your camera to someone else.”

Antigua Photo Walk Expensive Camera Not Needed

Although you can do more with better cameras, the principles in Antigua Photo Walk apply to any camera.

General Impressions of an Antigua Photo Walk

Rudy is very knowledgeable about photography, and uses a wide range of cameras so he can answer almost any question you throw at him.

What we liked most was the laid-back approach to improving our photography as some photographers we have met were pompous and egotistical.

Antigua Photo Walk Instructions

Rudy explains each shot before having Antigua Photo Walk participants start snapping.

We also found that you get a taste of all the classes regardless which one you choose.

On the way between photoshoot locations, we got a taste of the Street Photography course.

The architecture of Antigua also plays well into the composition of photos.

Antigua Photo Walk Street Photography Framing

Once you know what to look for, you can plan your photographs in advance.

Our sampler included:

  • laws around the world regarding street photography
  • how to get implicit consent
  • choosing your audience
  • turning the tables on how to deal with locals demanding payment
  • not being afraid to getting up-close and personal
Antigua Photo Walk Street Photography Man Reading Newspaper

No one said zooming with your feet for street portraits was easy.

As this is an Antigua Photo Walk, you not only learn how to take better pictures, but learn about Antigua as well.

We started the class immediately after arriving at 7:30 am on a shuttle from San Pedro La Laguna, and loved our introduction to Antigua.

You quickly learn that 20 percent of the city are the cobblestone streets, and that the other 80 percent is hidden behind the walls.

Don’t be afraid to venture inside random buildings, and play the ‘stupid’ card if approached.

These tips are priceless to make the most of your stay in Antigua.

Depending on your interests,

Rudy can also recommend places to visit, eat, drink, and be merry. Thanks again for your wonderful class!

Antigua Photo Walk Movie Set

As you move between photoshoot locations, Rudy tells you tidbits regarding Antigua…like this location that was used as a movie set.

Know Before You Go

  • Price: Q240 / $32.50 for group tours, or Q600 / $81.30 and up for private tours
  • Duration: Standard tours are 2 hours, and private sessions can last up to 8 hours
  • Where to Meet: Arrive at Maximo Nivel Intercultural Center 5 minutes prior to your scheduled time
  • What to Bring: Bring your camera or smartphone, and a smile!
  • Contact Informationwww.antiguaphotowalks.com

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Antigua Photo Walk Capturing Life in Motion

***The Final Word – Try to schedule an Antigua Photo Walk early during your visit to maximize the quality of your pictures!***

What would you like to learn in a photography class?

2 Shovels

Not recommended DIY travel; take a tour instead

* Thank you to Antigua Photo Walks & Rudy Giron for hosting us.

Visited in October 2016

Comments

  1. A nice read and tutorial. But I still have a hard time doing shots. Probably I really need to attend and actual photography 101 to learn. But I hope I am doing good, if not great on my blogs recently.

    1. It’s always nice to either learn a few tricks to make your photos ‘pop’ or just reinforce ideas that you haven’t really used. Combining a photography class with an iconic destination is perfect as you are at least guaranteed a few great shots. 🙂

  2. This is such a well composed article. I have scarcely had my Photo walk last week with a group of friends. I love how your narrative about your photo walk experienced. You express your thoughts in an interesting way.

  3. We have some similar photo walks here in Bangalore. I think these kinds of walks are really useful as they help us prepare to spot out wonderful frames. You have explained well.

    1. Thanks, Indrani. I’m sure there is a lot of great opportunities for street photography in Bangalore. Great photography possibilities are endless if we know how to spot them.

  4. This is a very interesting post. I loved the tips about framing and lighting. I will definitely try out the tips and maybe one day take this course when I am in those parts.

    1. There are so many tips and techniques to photography that it would take at least a month to learn them all. Luckily, Rudy highlights the most important that make an impact right away. We definitely recommend Antigua Photo Walks as the class is tailored to your level as a photographer.

  5. I would love to experience this! I have always heard of photo walks but Antigua seems to be the perfect spot for it. The best way to enhance one’s photography skills is to practice and photo walks is a good exercise for it!

    1. Antigua is amazing for taking compelling photos. There are so many ruins and restored colonial buildings. It is hard to stop taking photographs! Taking a class that shows you all the hidden places to explore together and then on your own was a huge bonus. I think I got a bit more exercise since I was the ‘runway’ model.

  6. I’d love to take an Antigua Photo Walk too. As a blogger, I always strive to improve myself, that includes taking photos. I’d sure love to learn a thing or two from Rudy. Based on the photos you’d taken you sure learned a lot from him. I learned framing during photography class when I was still in college, I do apply it in some of my photos, I think it’s one of the good techniques in photography.

    1. For us, one of the key takeaways was to plan the picture you want, and then wait for it to happen. There are a lot less women wearing traditional clothing in Antigua compared to the Highlands so you have to wait for them to pass by. Rudy is great since he can cater to photographers of every level, which it seems you have some experience up your sleeve. 🙂

  7. That is an amazing photo walk! The place looks wonderful~ I agree with you that taking a good photo is crucial, especially when you are a blogger. Good photos are what attracts readers. My photography skills sucks but I’m still learning.

    1. I actually notice that the more blogs I see, the more inspiration I have and new ideas for improvement. Hopefully they think copying is the greatest compliment. 🙂

      Antigua is chalk full of great places to take pictures. If you have the time, the natural ruins lend well to photography via trial and error.

  8. Thanks for sharing. It was really helpful and some o the shots taken were great. I agree with how important the direction from which the shot is taken. The images should come lively to reach the viewers heart.

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