Explore Your Creative Spirit In Oaxaca

Experience the vibrancy of Oaxaca through your camera’s lens.

Freeman-Patterson

"Richard Martin’s intelligent and caring workshop philosophy is based on a great deal of experience, both as participant and instructor. The creativity of his vision, images, and teaching is inspiring."

Freeman Patterson
Photographer

What You'll Do

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Capture The Rich Colours

Capture the rich colours and textures of the historic city centre, and the faces of young and old against evocative surroundings. Approximately seventeen indigenous tribes remain in the Valley and many of these people appear in the city in their traditional dress.

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Experience Tradition

The Historical Center of Oaxaca was declared a Cultural Patrimony of Mankind by UNESCO, and extends six to eight blocks in each direction from the Zócalo. The Zócalo (traffic free city center) laid out in 1529, is surrounded by colourful cafes and heavily used by the locals. The Macedonio Alcalá plus other streets around the Zocaló are pedestrian walks, ideal for people watching. In addition, the Mercado Juárez (one block square) close to the Zócalo, overflows with traditional artifacts and food. 

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Explore The Town

The sprawling open air Abastos Market (listed on the cover of “One Thousand Places to See Before You Die”) is spread out for blocks on the edge of town, offering everything from trinkets to large animals, including handmade and manufactured goods in colours that native son Rufino Tamayo borrowed for his paintings.

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See The Heart Of The City

Churches are a must for anyone wishing to understand the heart of the city and its people. Making photographs are permitted in the 27 Spanish Colonial churches situated in the historic center. In addition, there is a large and very old cemetery in the city, and numerous interesting cemeteries in the surrounding pueblos.

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Behold The Architecture

Explore several of the museum courtyards in search of architectural form. Some excellent examples include Casa de la Ciudad, Museo Philatelica, Museo de Artes Graphicas, and Centro de Fotografía Alvarez Bravo.

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Step Into The Rhythm Of Oaxaca

Step into the rhythm of the city with daily outings. Spend early mornings and late afternoons sauntering the streets of Oaxaca, with its well-preserved colonial architecture and vivid life. Our regular daily outings will be interspersed with three separate field trips to the surrounding countryside. Details contained in daily itinerary.

What Our Participants Say

“My photography journey has benefitted tremendously from Richard's generosity in sharing his creative vision and skill, which combined with his love of humour and fun makes learning a cinch.”

– Alice Yen Yong

“Richard Martin, along with Freeman Patterson liberated my generation of Canadian photographers from the rule-bound shackles of camera club tradition.”

– Larry Monczka

“The reason I travel with Richard as often as possible is because I know I will be inspired, I know I will be pushed to see differently, I know I will be challenged creatively and I know I will laugh… a lot.”

– Sally Harris

“It was great to have the opportunity to travel with Richard and see his exceptional eye for color, shape and texture in action. He has a wonderful gift.”

– Jim Graham

“[Richard] is truly a born teacher, always available to participants, and I always go home not only having had a good time but feeling that I have grown creatively.”

– Mary Macey Butler

“What impresses me is that how [Richard] "sees." There were times on the trips that he saw pictures in the midst of chaos. He is very approachable, has a great sense of humour and just plain good company both while photographing or socializing. He takes photography and teaching to another level that I have not seen from other professionals.”

– Gene Morita

Meet Your Teacher

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Richard Martin

A long-time contributor to Photo Life magazine, Richard pursues photography as a medium of visual expression. He is a deeply committed instructor who guides participants on a voyage of personal rediscovery on his photography tours around the world. His passion and insight help the student in opening up the creative doors and to reflect on the special qualities that dwell within them.

A good instructor should have the ability to move people – connecting them with their emotions. Reinforcing to participants the fact that fine images are made with their hearts and souls not their thousand-dollar lens.

Qualities That Make A Good Instructor

Some of the qualities which contribute to a good instructor include:



  • Instructors should be deeply committed to the process of making images, while possessing honesty and integrity in their own work.


  • They should encourage individual ways of seeing and expressing, and should NEVER impose their own views on students.


  • One who enjoys sharing their knowledge, without ego! – this aspect is very important.

One who is always accessible to participants, being available for assistance, and dividing time fairly between students.


  • One who can guide participants on a voyage of personal rediscovery, opening up doors and helping students reflect on the special qualities that dwell within them.

What You'll Learn

Advance Your Craft

Learn how to put your craft, vision, and imagination to the test by pushing the process of making photographs to the limits.

Expand Your Knowledge

Develop new skills and acquire new technical knowledge during a time of inspiration and personal growth.

Develop Your Visual Style

Indulge yourself in an environment where the focus is on you and your photography, where you can experiment to acquire a greater appreciation of your medium and a greater awareness of yourself and your creative direction.

Play & Experiment

Try new things with the opportunity to explore your craft in ways you may not attempt on your own. Allow yourself the freedom to make mistakes and grow from them.

Gain Inspiration

Be inspired in a place where you can engage your imagination, stimulate the senses and rekindle your passion for photography.

Exchange Ideas

Meet with others involved in the medium to share ideas. Time spent as a group can be a journey both visually and emotionally—a time for the soul to get away from the daily routines and refresh the creative energies.

Discover Your Vision

Learn the art of visual design and the philosophy of vision in a hands-on environment, because technique to a large extent can be learned from a book.

Itinerary

Friday, February 17th – Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 1

Day 1: Friday, February 17th

Travel day for participants to arrive and settle into hotel. Note: cost includes Friday Feb 17 Hotel.

 

Day 2

Day 2: Saturday, February 18th

The group will meet at our Hotel at 1:00pm. for an orientation and outing. This evening gather for a welcome reception and dinner.


Note: The following days will include optional early morning outings, each day before breakfast. An opportunity to to explore the streets of the Historical Center at an easy unhurried pace and make images in the beautiful morning light.

Day 3

Day 3: Sunday, February 19th

Today, after an early breakfast travel to one of Oaxaca’s biggest markets. The Sunday market in Tlacolula, one of the oldest in Mesoamerica, is a juxtaposition of the historical and cultural worlds that makes the Oaxaca experience so rich. Past and present, Spanish and Zapotecó all are here in force.

The colour explosion of the Zapotec women's traditional dress contrast the muted dryness of the surrounding landscape. Bright ribbons winding through long black braids, richly colored blouses and painstakingly hand-embroidered smocks splash brilliantly against the dusty backdrop. Return this afternoon for an evening at leisure.

Dine tonight at a local restaurant.

Day 4

Day 4: Monday, February 20th

Following a morning edit-and-critique session, explore the streets of Oaxaca. Options include Abastos Market, Mercado Juárez, Spanish Colonial churches, old cemetery in the city, and museum courtyards. These are only some of Oaxaca’s truly countless attractions branching out from the main square. Participants also have the option to simply relax or explore the city on their own.

Dine tonight at a local restaurant.

Day 5

Day 5: Tuesday, February 21st

Following a morning field trip to Monte Alban, explore the streets of Oaxaca. Options include Abastos Market, Mercado Juárez, Spanish Colonial churches, old cemetery in the city, and museum courtyards. These are only some of Oaxaca’s truly countless attractions branching out from the main square. Participants also have the option to simply relax or explore the city on their own.

Dine tonight at a local restaurant.

Day 6

Day 6: Wednesday, February 22nd

After breakfast, travel to the site of the famous Etla Wednesday market, where vendors offer lots of other old-fashioned merchandise, ranging from fresh sheepskins, burro pack frames, to green Atzompa pottery, and banana-leaf-wrapped red Oaxaca tamales. The market’s main attraction, however, is the battalion of native countrywomen offering mounds of carrots, forest-gathered herbs, nopal cactus leaves, onions, and much more. 

Also visit the nearby textile factory “Vistahermosa” that dates from 1883, and now is the “Center of the Arts San Agustín”; a site that offers photography courses, engraving, digital, artisan and textile design, for Mexican and foreign artists interested in working with ecological techniques one hundred percent. The Center does not emit polluting agents in order to maintain and conserve its wooded surroundings. The Center is a splendid building destined to promote art and natural conservation. It is a project promoted by the famous Oaxacan painter Francisco Toledo with the aid of the government of Oaxaca and the National Council for the Culture and Artes (CONACULTA). The ex factory, on grounds of fifteen thousand square meters, was acquired four years ago with contributions from the government of the state and Francisco Toledo.

Dine tonight at a local restaurant.

Day 7

Day 7: Thursday, February 23rd

Following a morning edit-and-critique session, explore the streets of Oaxaca. Options include Abastos Market, Mercado Juárez, Spanish Colonial churches, old cemetery in the city, and museum courtyards. These are only some of Oaxaca’s truly countless attractions branching out from the main square. Participants also have the option to simply relax or explore the city on their own.

Dine tonight at a local restaurant.

Day 8

Day 8: Friday, February 24th

Today, after an early breakfast travel to one of the following destinations:

  • The Zapotec community of Teotitlán del Valle (elevation: 1,670 meters or 5,500 feet) is world-famous for production of colorful weavings.
  • Ocotlán de Morelos is located 30 kilometers from the city on hwy 175. 16th century exconvent and Dominican temple that was recently restored with the financial help of artist Rodolfo Morales. Paintings of Morales are exhibited at the late artist's home. Market day is on Friday with many handicrafts displayed in the main square.
  • Cuilapan de Guerrero is famous for its elaborate but unfinished Ex-Convento de Santiago. The extravagances—the soaring, roofless basilica, magnificent baptismal font, splendid Gothic cloister, and elaborate frescoes—remain as national treasures.
  • 17th century village church of Santa Ana Zegache, restored by the Morales Foundation. The facade has recently been repainted in bright, contrasting colors that emphasize its main features: tiers of shell niches housing religious statuary framed by prominent, fluted columns.
  • Women potters of San Marcos Tlapazola, southwest of Tlacolula in the mountains there is a women's cooperative that makes almost entirely utilitarian ware of red clay sparkling with tiny silica flakes: large and small “comales” (griddles), low round and oval bowls, and large jars.
Day 9

Day 9: Saturday, February 25th

Oaxaca. Options include Abastos Market, Mercado Juárez, Spanish Colonial churches, old cemetery in the city, and museum courtyards. These are only some of Oaxaca’s truly countless attractions branching out from the main square. Participants also have the option to simply relax or explore the city on their own.


Farewell Dinner tonight at a local restaurant.

Day 10

Day 10: Sunday, February 26th

Depart for early morning transfer to airport.

Our tour itinerary has been designed specifically for serious photographers, to ensure that more concentrated time is spent in the most photogenic areas. In addition to individual attention in the field, time will be spent reviewing participants work while learning digital workflow and visual design. Instruction is kept flexible to accommodate a changing itinerary and varying skill levels of the participants, and to allow for spontaneous photographic opportunities.

There will be an opportunity for informal review of work throughout the trip, from a technical, compositional and aesthetic point of view. There will also be free time to allow for personal exploration.

The workshop begins on Friday, February 17th at 1:00pm (after lunch) and concludes after dinner on Saturday, February 25th (suggested return flight Sunday, February 26th at the earliest).

Gallery

Want To See More?

Click here to see more photos from Oaxaca, as well as galleries from past trips.

Oaxaca Photo Tour Pricing

Single Occupancy

$2,970 per Person
  • 9 nights accommodation (includes Friday, February 17th - Saturday, February 25th, 2017).
  • 2 Dinners (beginning and end).
  • Dedicated English speaking guide.
  • All Entrance Fees as indicated.
  • Photographic Instruction and feedback.
  • Any airfare, departure & airport taxes and fees, passport and visa services & fees.
  • Baggage, equipment, medical and cancellation insurance.
  • Airport Transfers to and from hotel.
  • Beverages with meals, meals other than mentioned above, tips and gratuities.
  • Tips to drivers, guides and escorts, any tour or transportation services.
  • Tips to porterage and maid service.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, taxi, excess baggage etc.
  • Travel insurance and optional tours, etc.

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Ready To Enrich Your Visual Life?

Whether you’re interested in developing your own visual style or expanding your knowledge or craft, attending a workshop or tour may turn out to be one of the best investments you make towards enriching your visual life.

Not Quite Sure Yet?

Why not visit our contact page, we would love to answer any questions you may have!

Registration

Contact

Brian Cruickshank
Senior Travel Consultant
Merit Travel
bcruickshank@MeritTravel.com

Merit Group Tours

186 Princess Street
Kingston, Ontario K7K 1B1
(613) 549-3342  ext. 3375
Toll Free (866) 341-1777 ext. 3375
TICO #1862579

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