Mexico City 2024 Workshop Recap

The first workshop of 2024 is in the books! And, bonus, it was a new workshop location for me this year. Overall, it was fantastic – great group, weather (maybe a little warm, but manageable), locations, and food (even if, once again, I got food poisoning…sigh). Still, I love this city!

Day 1

We started with the Chapultepec Castle. Situated on a large hill, chapoltepēc means “on the hill of the grasshopper”, and was a sacred site of the Aztecs. The castle has been many things over the years – summer home to the Spanish crown ruler, Bernardo de Gálvez (Galveston, TX is named after him and he helped Washington secure the Florida territory during the American Revolution). It was also a military academy, an imperial palace, and a museum.

Photographically, we’re dealing with older architecture so I chose to focus on the details and some great light hitting these two staircases.

Here, some reflections in one of the fountains + a view of down Paseo de la Reforma. As I mentioned, it was quite warm during our time here and the air quality wasn’t the best. But, it sure makes for some interesting atmospheric conditions in the photos.

Next up, Casa Gilardi. It’s the last private home designed by renowned architect Luis Barragan. Built 1975-1978 and is still owned by the family who commissioned him. They’re kind enough to open most of it to the public for tours. Absolutely love the colors in here, especially the pool. Of note, iphone shots only allowed.

I mention the colors so let’s make no sense and start with a couple of black & white’s of the stairs.

Okay, onto the color.

Next, the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, which, unfortunately, was closed due to restorations. On the plus side, you can still shoot a fair amount from the sidewalk and many areas had a fresh coat of paint.

The final stop of the day, the Frida Kahlo Museum. More great color and texture.

Day 2

Our second day was filled with museums + a bonus stop due to one closure. First up, Museo Nacional de Antropología. The largest and most visited museum in Mexico. Lots of great patterns here – inside the lobby and the courtyard.

Liked the distorted reflection of the sculpture in the courtyard fountain.

Museum #2 of the day – Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo. The design was inspired by the pyramidal structures of pre-Hispanic culture. Excellent texture, geometry, and shadow play in here.

Museum #3 of the day – Museo de Arte Moderno. The yellow skylight is the star in here. But, first, the curvy handrails and stairway.

After a little lunch break, the final two museums – Soumaya Museum and Jumex Museum (which was closed due to a massive installation).

I didn’t shoot a lot here this visit but I did like the sun/shade color contrast in this one.

Some geometry with the facade or stairs and the Telcel Plaza next door.

One more pairing, the curvy exterior + a phone shot (because I got really lazy) of the interiors curvy walls.

I didn’t shoot the Jumex on this visit and due to not being able to explore the interiors we added an impromptu stop at the Camino Real Polanco. Can’t say I was disappointed in the change. This hotel has been on my list and we arrived just in time for some great afternoon light.

One of the attendees reminded me to play around with ICM, really should have done this at more locations! But glad I got a few here.

Then, we started to lose the light so the colors felt a little flatter, but still fun./

We decided to grab a drink and attempt to shoot this incredible space in the bar of the hotel. So glad we did! Just look at this ceiling and this amazing color! Next trip, I need to stay at this hotel.

Here we are, all wiped out after a long day of museuming.

A couple of phone shots – one of the areas of the bar with a glass floor and water feature underneath + way too much time spent photographing my drink.

Day 3

Time for our third day! This started out a little messy with a wait and inability to schedule a tour ahead of time for the National Palace. While it wasn’t the most photographically exciting location it was historically interesting and nice to hear the history of the city through the guides’ breakdown of all the Diego Rivera murals here.

The only shot I got that was worth anything was a phone shot of the ceiling in the staircase as we left.

A very short walk away is the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral. It’s situated on top of the former Aztec sacred precinct near the Templo Mayor on the northern side of the Plaza de la Constitución (Zócalo) in the historic center of Mexico City. It took nearly 250 years to build. Parts of it were undergoing restoration during our visit, especially on the exteriors.

As with any older architecture, and churches in particular, I tend to look up and start thinking of symmetry.

I was also drawn to the chandeliers, the light, and layering of the columns.

More older architecture up next – Former College of San Ildefonso. Lots of arches, a great staircase, and bold colors. The college was founded in 1588 and is considered the birthplace of the Mexican muralism movement. The school and building closed in 1978, reopening in 1992 as a museum.

Lots of old architecture on our third day. We ended the photography for the day at the Gran Hotel Ciudad de México. A fun little bit of trivia – this gorgeous hotel was in the James Bond movie Spectre

We just photographed the lobby and its gorgeous ceiling and ironwork.

Day 4

So, I don’t have any shots from this day. I was horribly ill with food poisoning on the last day:) I’ve visited 10 cities in Mexico and only in CDMX have I managed to get food poisoning, twice. Guess this city doesn’t love me as much as I love it. Regardless, I would not hesitate to visit again.

And, I promise you, attendees saw some great sites on their final day in this wonderful city! A huge thanks to John Crouch for saving the day by leading the group and sharing his insights at the final 4 destinations. Not sure how I would have managed without him!

You’ll see some of those locations from the attendees when I share their shots later this week.

In the meantime, here are some BTS shots. Mostly iPhone shots by me and others in the group. And, again, thanks to John for grabbing this group shot, sans me on the last day.

Big thanks to this incredible group as well! They were fantastic and so understanding of me not feeling well.

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5 Responses

      1. I was in cdmx the month before you (my son lives there) and got sick as well. Next time I will take Dukoral beforehand to prevent Montezuma’s Revenge. 😉

        Great images btw. Joining you in Chicago is on my bucket list.

  1. I so enjoy traveling vicariously through your workshop posts and the images of your students. I’m so sorry you were ill, so unfortunate. So many beautiful images of patterns and vivid colors…so much fun!! I look forward to joining you in NYC in Sept.!

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