Chichen Itza florished from 600 to 1200 and was one of the largest Maya cities. Its El Castillo pyramid was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007 and the site welcomes some 1.2million visitors a year.
Yucatán – Photo Tip

Zoom out to create a context

Photo by Frans Lemmens

Yucatán – Photo Tip Zoom out to create a context

Yucatán is a fantastic destination, but because of the combination of beaches and Maya temples it is also quite touristy. The locals you meet are more often than not part of the tourist industry, and if you are keen to meet the “real” locals, you have to make an effort.

Frans Lemmens
Frans Lemmens Travel Photographer

Instead of trying to avoid the hawkers and street sellers, who obviously are there to sell you something you don’t want, let alone need, I often engage with them for some small talk and a laugh. I ask them about their life and sometimes this leads to interesting photo opportunities.

I also like to take their portrait, because to me they are an inextricable part of the scenery, of the country and of the history. At Chichén Itzá I remember thinking: he might be a descendant from the ancient Maya.

I always zoom out a little bit to include a relevant amount of background and create a context. And I like it when they are laughing because they almost always are good-natured people. They have to be, otherwise they wouldn’t sell anything!

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The Yucatan Peninsula is popular with many cruise lines that dock along the coast and offer their passengers excursions to the Maya archaeological sites at Chichen Itza and Tulum, or the shops of Cancún. Photo by Frans Lemmens

Frans Lemmens

Frans Lemmens

canon 1ds mark II

Aperture
ƒ/5.6
Exposure
1/250
ISO
100
Focal
70 mm

The Yucatan Peninsula is popular with many cruise lines that dock along the coast and offer their passengers excursions to the Maya archaeological sites at Chichen Itza and Tulum, or the shops of Cancún.

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