20160221: Old Masters night scene, San Juan Lagos Streets.

20160221 San Juan Lagos-8435

Outside in the courtyard, talking to my neighbor, I noticed the light and could not resist. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

Saturday, I was going to meet Joe and go up to the 2nd house. When I got there, Joe was hungry for breakfast, and I having just walked a kilometer, was ready for a early lunch.

20160221 San Juan Lagos-8446

The small stand, not sure what all she does, you order is made from scratch. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

As you can see,

20160221 San Juan Lagos-8448

She is making the tortillas by hand, per order.

20160221 San Juan Lagos-8450

The press,

20160221 San Juan Lagos-8451

The finished tortilla, she then may bring it off and form a cup by turning up the edges and filling it. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

And of course, as you are waiting for you order, you talk with the sellers and other customers.

20160221 San Juan Lagos-8452

Joe and operator chat. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

Wandering around town, here are some more street scenes,

Please understand, this is a Pilgrim visiting area, I have no issue with their beliefs…

But there is a difference in what marketing products are sold here. I was joking with a Luis, my neighbor that yes, I may have to sell religious trinkets, souvenirs. There are not postcards stands in the shops, there is not maps to see this view or that like a Tourist town, i.e. Hollywood has.

These people coming here want something spiritual to them, for the most part. Not everyone of course, but as a small one man business, I am not prepared to start a business revolution of any sort.

I am not compatible with this area so to speak, not that there is anything wrong with this place.

of here is a quick shot of “a” water delivery truck, many different ones like this.

20160221 San Juan Lagos-8439

Anyway, enjoy the views.

Creative shooting,

20160219: Local police request, Please sir, please do not carry your equipment at night. ah, yes sir. Not a problem.

Cactus by moonlight. Not my usual night time shooting, but the local police don't want me walking around at night with gear on.   Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

Cactus by moonlight. Not my usual night time shooting, but the local police don’t want me walking around at night with gear on. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

OK, so with about 8 little kids running around in my courtyard, yep they won again.
But I’m back up and around. Building up resistance.
Anyway, the other night when I was waiting outside Joe’s house, the local police stopped and gave me a ride to the station.
Lack of communication, an English speaking officer came in and said they would like me to not carry my equipment around at night, fear of crimes.
Since I have no story I am chasing, their request is quite fine by me, I am not suicidal. I have no wish to make them mad at me.
A little crazy about my art, a bit spiritual, but their request is simple.
“Please after dark, no photography. You and your equipment stand out.”
Nothing mean or nasty. Very polite to this dumb american. Just realize they worry and don’t want a “bad” story about a tourist hurt in their town.
So, I will find roofs or courtyards of people who do not mind my being there all night. Or shoot from my courtyard it self.

Joe has agreed to consider it. His 2nd house has a nice south facing view away from the city lights.  He also goes out to a family ranch.
A bit miffed, a night photographer without much access to night skies.
But amused, this 2 photos taken when I had used the banos on Wens. and noticed that the woman washing clothes was not one I had seen before. My door, the chain hole, I use it see who knocking etc, I saw the play of light and got a camera. After several shots, I like these two. Not a people shooter, but I do think I can play with the light still. Kind of takes off the “dull” of the washing clothes, but does not “glory” it either. And yes, I wash my clothes the same way for the most part. I put up a stronger line to hang clothes on, it is over in the late afternoon sun as well. So, yes, that “line” is used a lot, by all the people in the courtyard.

!20160218 San Juan Lagos-8170


!20160218 San Juan Lagos-8178

20160215: SPIRITUAL Payment accepted. San Juan de los Lagos with a smile.

FB_notice of Spiritual Profit!_FB

I must award myself something for this, so the FaceBook meme gets a post too. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016


hah, as I thought, Joe calls his son and daughter regularly. So he told them and they saw it online as they were talking.
Joe has not seen them in 10 years. It was that long ago was the last photos were sent.
So, not a big deal of any measure, just as I suspected, while still a spiritual thing for me. Not worth mention beyond that.
We had fun talking and taking some photos for his children, this is Joe.

20160218 San Juan Lagos-8217

I will not have a story to chase, this is for the most part a closing.
I will talk and transfer messages a little while for Joe and his kids, it touches my heart at least.
It was a good feeling to help parent and child connect in some way.

As for where I go next, who knows? They don’t buy my kind of photography here, yes I found a shop for photo prints. I don’t do religious stuff, that is pretty much all that sells here.
Nope, services as artist/photographer teacher is out. Only churches have schools, I don’t do religious.

I would prefer a Buddhist or other not Bible or Muslin country.
I am however, wondering how many pesos in scrap metal my cameras might bright. If some one found it on the street, chances are they would Not know what it was. Let alone use one.
I have not seen a single postcard shop or stand. Photos on a plastic horse, yes a couple of those venders. No, you do not see people taking USA tourist pictures, or trying to buy them.

OK, so I did the meme for Facebook, but as a publisher of a blog I also had to put the story up on this blog itself.
Think of it???
200 readers on a great day. I’m so tiny a publisher, doing my thing since 1974… always listening to the comments of the “Pulitzer Prize Story”, knowing that a one man outfit doesn’t get awards, Public Awards. No profit for the Awarding people to reap.
Well, I am in San Juan de los Lagos, Jal. Mexico. A place I ended up in by chance, literally, letting pieces fall as they may, and pushing forward on the dream of keeping my Vanderhoof Photography business alive. Met “Joe” on the street of an exploring trip.
The reader and his daughter, as far as I know is living in the USA, “Joe” lived in the San Francisco area and left 5 or more years ago, to move back here.
So by a rough guess, coming from So. Ca. myself, straight line, that is about 3000 miles distance for the story to have traveled.
With only 200 readers on a GREAT DAY, a normal day is nearer to 100 of VP blog and LinkedIn repost visit numbers together. My Blog by it self alone did 148 in one day.
So, yes as a person who has calls myself a publisher since 1974,  I got the “Grand Prize”,
“SPIRITUAL Payment” check.
To have and BE a Part of a story that touches two hearts, here a father and daughter, found by a simple story, is by far the most tear jerking, heart warming thing this Old man can have happen!
It’s a multi part story/ blog post, HOT OFF THE PRESSES!, as it is happening… oh my god????
or a Real Dud, the guy ran on parole or something that cools it’s jets fast… Yes, we both relate to having been in prison.
But I get a story just the same on the first shot. Even if it is a “government troll”, I speak out, they will get exposed, a different story.
and a tear jerking memory for the rest of my life…
what a payment to an old worn and tired heart and soul, my thanks to “THE CREATOR”.
As for you blog publishers, hang in there, hit the beats, make the run for the extra effort. Who knows when a muse will drop in to visit, 4 yrs now, posting what I can, when I can, where I can.
Now, a  BEAUTIFUL memory, easy to recall, happy to die knowing ” I DID IT!”

But tomorrow? Maybe my 100 hits a post will be come a 1000 hits. Maybe, my next stop, job offer to visit and shoot some of my images for them somewhere new in the world.

It takes money to run my gear and sites, food and travel expenses. I have a “DONATE BUTTON”, if you enjoy my story, think I might help someone, some where else in the world, make a donation. If you have a place you would like me to visit, put it in my Comments, or email me. Australia, South East Asia would be nice to shoot Native, rural and landscape images for a little while.

I don’t make promises of miracles, but my energy pattern is me, so it comes with me and effects all in it’s touch.

I went over, but Joe is not home. I will post again tonight some street scenes of San Juan Lagos, and any updates on the email and Joe.
Always a spiritual journey, lovingkindness energy to all.

20160210, Hotels and street scenes, San Juan Lagos

2016 San Juan Lagos-8071

Looking up what I call hotel row. There hotels every where! If I walk up this street, major Mexican banks, nice restaurants, etc. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

I go up the street most every day, till the officer doing the traffic control.

In this shot we are looking up what I call hotel row, a street I know that if you go up it, the banks are up there, restaurants and more high end tourist hotels are there.
I am just walking through the area, hitting “hip shots” as I walked.
I carry my camera in the crock of my arm or in my left hand at gut or chest level, most the time. right hand is also held up. Simply a change in habit, due to the increase in pain in my right shoulder area.
I have my tripod on the right side so the strap pulls on the left shoulder, also to reduce the right side loading.
So shots are a bit higher, and the camera is much safer in the crowds.
This is Wens afternoon, just a couple hours ago…
Last night the church bells were tolling every so often, half hour maybe, but would ring for like 5 minutes each time… It started as I was going into the plaza so I didn’t think much till it didn’t stop for several minutes.
Yes, I’ll shoot the bells, 2 towers, 2 or 3 bells per tower, do a separate post.
However this is a slow day in town, kind of a Monday, people around, stores open, not a big money making day. Good to shoot the territory during the lull.

2016 San Juan Lagos-8078

2016 San Juan Lagos-8083

yeah, in English, “Bar, Billards”

2016 San Juan Lagos-8074


2016 San Juan Lagos-8084

turn down a corner and there is a Santander Bank…

2016 San Juan Lagos-8092

yes, 350 pesos… 16 pesos to the US $, so about $21 US per night.

and now for some LOCAL COLOR!!!

2016 San Juan Lagos-8079

Corner after corner, street after street…. remember this is a very slow time… Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-8093

2016 San Juan Lagos-8105

In this shot, PLEASE NOTICE, the motor scooter passing a young lady, ( it’s tail light is on) and you will see that family walking towards the motor scooter on the other side of the street. Not even flinching, yes I am that bold too… if you walk with me I will keep you in sight, don’t try to walk like me and these people if you are “AFRAID”. Just be aware of yourself and surrounding and walk “SAFELY”. Listen to vehicles coming, look over your shoulder, don’t stop and turn around! If it sounds TOO close, get out of the way! Even between parked scooters for a 2nd to look back is safer.

2016 San Juan Lagos-8109

If you don’t like the looks of one church or it is too crowded, just walk a block or 2.

2016 San Juan Lagos-8098

2016 San Juan Lagos-8100

the plaza, when you can see the tiles… Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-8099

yep, the front of the big church on the plaza. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-8095

Sorry for the blurry shots, but a common stall. Not brave enough to stop at one yet. Will try to get a shot of the women with tastes of caramel of a stick, a local favorite!!!!

2016 San Juan Lagos-8111

Walking by this street so often, just liked the view, on the top of the hill is the sign welcoming Pope John Paul. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

SPECIAL NOTE: United States tourists and others, please remember that these LOCAL Poeple are poor people. (I spend a lot of time explaining the cost of my tools or other things to the people I live with. My laptop costs more than people in my courtyard will understand, they can’t concept that much, 55,000 – 60,000 pesos. I pulled out some photos, the idea it cost me 150 peso to make one of those photos, they are scared to have take their photos taken. “I can’t pay that much money!!!”) Now that is not to say there is no money here. The big businesses and banks, the number of hotels and venders says someone is making money.

1. Carry some money in different pockets, a easy handful of coins in one, I put folded 20, 50 and 100 peso notes in the coin pocket of my pants. Since each Mexican note is a different color I can find a correct bill fast. Most people expect you to pay with a bill matching the sale. A big supermarket with several counters is one thing, here even the bakery I stop at had to dig to give me change on a 200 peso note for a 40 peso sale. I have run many cash registers, so it is not just her not having change, after a month in this town, it is the standard. expect to have near coins/bills amounts near what you want to buy.
2. If you look the Shop Keeper in the eyes for a few seconds, “You are a Mark”, learn to wave a hand and boredly say “nada”. When you see the rows of stalls and same products being sold, marketing and business people will understand. I’m weird, stand out with my gear, so I stroll, looking around, quick smiles to shop attendants, glancing at the people as I walk, I am polite and some people seem to remember seeing me “the other day”. If you do not “FLASH MONEY”, you are NOT going to have a problem. Keep in mind that if these people think $500 pesos is getting into big money, a camera body at 20,000 pesos in NOT Understandable.
3. These people dream of United States as “Wonderful”. They do not understand how someone like me can say I will never return. They do not understand that I am one of those people who have for years, understood that part of why they live in so unclean a level of life is so United States can feel good about it’s self. If you read my blog and come here, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR ARROGANCE SOME PLACE ELSE WHILE HERE, at least if you are near me or associated to my name. I do not approve of such behavior.
4. Prices are Pesos…. current rate of exchange here is 16 peso to the US dollar. Fast dyslexic math 100 peso = $6.00 US

2016 San Juan Lagos-8066

2016 San Juan Lagos-8067

Of these last photos, this is the common water supply, dish washing and clothes washing area. The stalls just past are the toilet/shower combo rooms. I do not use the shower, even in prison, I kept my feet clean. Sponge baths are much safer. the section next to the far left is the softner and other stuff sink. There is no drain. The women seem to use it to put a softner “Downey” and as they wash the clothes will dip them in that section in the end or just use it for a soapy wash and dip clothes in that. The far left and far right sinks have “washboard ribbing” in the cement bottoms. The tap without a hose is more trusting, less to clean off, but clothing buries this faucet, dirty dishes pile around. I’m a bachelor, but as a camping person, even that is a bit much.
I boil and or filter with my MSR MiniWorks water filter, at, .3 micron it has been very good for me. 20 years old, filter and system “Field service-able”, new filters still available. Under $100 US, and extra filter is about $50 (500 gals or so per filter).

Yesterday, as you can see, a woman was washing all day, she was out before me, at 10am and still going at it around 7pm. I think she used the trees to save walking in the dark.
Did some of my own this morning, since if I am quiet, no one is up, 8am or so is open. by 10am some one is washing clothes most days. Yes men wash clothes and help the women in my court yard.

20160208, Clouds & Street, San Juan Lagos

2016 San Juan Lagos-8048

Walking north out of town, these clouds, moving northeasterly… Had to go for a walk. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-

Street photography with a touch of nature. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016


by the way, I realize while there are so many birds here that “black dots in the skies” are going to drive me nuts… (after a good cleaning of my cameras, much needed, will decide as “personal view” left in or out. )

2016 San Juan Lagos-8038

This guy, far across the riverbed from me, just sat there… other birds flew off. But I got to change lens, shoot a shot or 2, decided I was bouncing 28-200mm Tamron with a doubler on and moved to brace myself. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

These guys on the other hand, just walking by and they flew away, came back by and they were there again. Spooked, they flew to the other side of the river and I got this shot.

2016 San Juan Lagos-8053

Saw some parrots in some trees, green parrots in green trees… not a good shot yet.

2016 San Juan Lagos-8050

Looking south back to town. The towers of “my local” church way in the back and another church a little closer. Have go this as a good example of dust and birds. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-8033

street photography, as I was chasing the clouds…. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-8026

The other day, the rust building, on the left is where the cafe is at. You can just see the stone pillars of the entrance. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-8057

shooting from the hip, a little de-saturation. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-8040

Heavy action with the clouds. Some where along these area I think I will try a city nightscape star trails/timelapse series of shots. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-8054

Riverbed is not so cute, the array of colors and splash of “clouds”… will play with some more. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-8056

Wow, clouds… Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-8045

An interesting idea for a star trails, if I balance the church lights and the city lights… the night skies are clear often enough to set it up. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016


A bit of my daily life…family fun.

2016 San Juan Lagos-3-8

The 2nd night I was here this birthday party was going on down stairs, Senora Mica in the red coat, birthday girl in front of her and with the cake. And a swarm of children that I see most of them around in the streets. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-3-15

And yes, I am in the thick of it, night photographer, so no flash to distract the children. Was able to take several of these and look for the best. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016


Views of San Juan de los Lagos,

2016 San Juan Lagos-7990

I climbed up to the road that crosses the top of this hill. As you can see the clouds were building into something, the challenge was to find a foreground. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

I had seen this view earlier Friday, when Joe was taking me back from his 2nd house. So Saturday as the clouds build up I was ready to climb up for those shots I posted on Sunday morning, “20 Minutes, 3 shots, Rembrandt skies, to Monet skies!”

Here is what Joe had to show me of his 2nd house.

2016 San Juan Lagos-7947

The inside courtyard, the building at the back is the house. However the surprise is in seeing this after driving up a very rural low income area. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-7950

This is from Joe’s 2nd house roof, looking southwest. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-7953

And Joe’s neighbors to the northerly direction, it looks like this. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

2016 San Juan Lagos-7952

To the West, the clouds coming in, a delight for me… open hill sides within walking distance! Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

Warning, did not write down compass points, may be off a bit, but the clouds have been moving West to East here for days.


The quick test shots of the city view, as we crossed back to the main part of the city. Gives you  an idea of the size of this city.

And here is a “guard dog”, Duffy is old, but still works his territory… Joe takes him from house to house, a dear friend.

2016 San Juan Lagos-7948

Duffy, kind of puts up with me, specially since I put jackets on the ground. Has a hard time walking, stiff hind hips, likes soft stuff to lay on of course. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

Joe has been working on this property for 10 years, several fruit trees had fruit on them, including a “sweet lime”. Yellow in color, small and looking like a lemon, the taste, tangerine, orange and lime at least to me… Sweet to eat like an orange.

2016 San Juan Lagos-7951

Just the roof top, gives a hint of what is inside.

2016 San Juan Lagos-7958

A small craving in the 1st layer of Joe’s courtyard wall. He wanted me to shoot it up close like this. However no history was told or asked about. Just an amusing image to share. I may find out more about on another visit. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016