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Spir i t of Plac e Mineral de Pozos, Mexico April 16 - 23, 2014

Creative Cultural Photography Workshop with Carol Watson

The Experience In putting together this workshop, I want to provide the the participants participants withwith a culturally an awe-inspiring immersive and experience immersive that is experience that educational and isinspirational. educational and inspirational. This workshop is aimed at photographers at any level using any typeimmersing By of gear -- the whether participants it be a digital in different SLR , aspects a Holga of orthe even an iPhoneculture Mexican camera. (religious To quotefestivals, David duChemin, music, food, “Gear and is daily good,they life) vision canisgain better.” a deeper understanding of what they are capturing via their cameras – the “Spirit of Place”. I By immersing want them to leave the participants as better photographers in different aspects with a new of the Mexican cultureof(religious understanding the Mexican festivals, way ofmusic, life, a food, beautiful and and daily life) they can compelling visual gain story, a deeper plusunderstanding many wonderful of what memories they of are capturing their photographic via their journey. cameras – the “Spirit of Place”. I want them to leave as better photographers with a new understanding of the culture, with a beautiful and compelling This a small group workshop a maximum of 10 visual story plus participants in order manytowonderful provide amemories personalized of their and photographic intimate experience journey. for everyone involved. It will be an unforgettable and unique way to experience Mexico. This a small group workshop with a maximum of 10 participants This workshop in is order aimed to provide at photographers a personalized at anyand level using intimate any type experience of gear -- whether for everyone it be a involved. digital SLR It will , a Holga be or an unforgettable even an iPhone camera. experience To quote and a David very unique duChemin, way to“Gear experience is good, vision Mexico. is better.” Everyone is welcome. Just bring an open heart and a willingness to be transformed by the Everyonebeauty amazing is welcome. and color Just of bring Mexico. an open Andheart extraand memory a willingness cards or film… to be transformed by the amazing beauty and color of Mexico. And extra memory cards or film…

Semana Santa Scheduling the workshop during Holy Week (Semana Santa) allows the participants to experience the intense emotion of the observances of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. Although Holy Week is celebrated all over Mexico, the nearby colonial mountain city of San Miguel de Allende is famous for its Semana Santa celebrations. During Semana Santa, each inhabitant abandons their normal life as a laborer, student or housewife and they gather together to become actors representing the Nazarenes, the guards, the apostles, and the people of a town that existed thousands of years before. The entire community becomes the cast and the streets become the stage by hosting processions, altars and “Passion Plays� reenacting the last days of Christ. You will have the privilege to observe and photograph the Friday of Sorrows observances in San Miguel de Allende.

Mineral de P

There is something magical about Mineral de Po


ozos... it’s a photographer’s paradise.

Mineral de Pozos is located deep in the heart of the central highlands, nestled between the hills and clouds at 7,500 ft. above sea level . Pozos is in the state of Guanajuato and only 30 miles from San Miguel Allende. This once opulent colonial city lived through several gold bonanzas from 1576 through the Revolution of 1910, and was declared a Historical National Monument by the Mexican Government in 1982. After the Mexican Revolution, Pozos almost became a ghost town remaining abandoned for almost 100 years with, at one point, only 200 people left.

For its singular architectural beauty, fascinating history, and attractive natural scenery, Mineral de Pozos, recently designated a Pueblo Magico (Magic Town), has been chosen in diverse occasions as the location for several national and foreign movies including And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (Antonio Banderas) and Pedro Paramo.

Pue Mag

eblo gico

“At first glance, Mineral de Pozos could be the dead-end one-horse Mexican town in every western you’ve ever seen. A silent, sun-scorched jumble of empty streets and shadow-dwelling dogs, where saloon-doored tequila bars shelter bad men, and there’s an atmosphere of the whole town holding its breath, waiting for a stranger to enter the square, kick the spurs of his cowboy boots into the midday dust and start something. There’s no good reason to be here, visitors might think at first, but if they look a little closer, stay a while, peek behind those unfriendly doors and closed shutters, they’ll discover an unexpected world, not of gun-wielding matriarchs and drunken cowboys, but of artists, musicians and cultured bohemians who are opening B&Bs, galleries and shops here.” -- Gemma Bowes, The Guardian UK

Posada de las Minas

Luxury accommodation

el Secreto de Pozos

n in a historic setting...

Posada de las Minas is the labor of love of David and Julie Winslow, two enterprising Texans who fell for Pozos’ quiet charm and decided to settle there. In 2002, the Winslows bought a 19thcentury building with the intention of turning it into a hotel. Three years of painstaking effort were required to transform the crumbling ruin into the work of art that now stands proudly on a street corner in downtown Pozos.

Rooms Available: 1. Buena Vista - One bedroom apartment with fully equipped kitchen, queen-size bed and full-size futon plus great views from private patio. 2. Luna de Miel - Queen-size bed, private balcony with great view of Pozos. 3. Los Vaqueros - Two twin beds, rustic cowboy charm. 4. Los Cactus - Queen-size bed, full-size futon, set in the middle of our beautiful cactus garden. 5. Cinco Se単ores - Large suite with king-size bed and queen sleeper sofa. 6. La Iglesia - Large efficiency apartment with fully equipped kitchen, queen-size bed, great views overlooking our cactus garden and the church. 7. Las Mu単ecas - Two twin beds with concha headboards, filled with Mexican folkart mu単ecas (dolls). 8. Santa Br鱈gida - Queen-size bed, large bath. Room with great view of Iglesia San Pedro.









El Secreto de Pozos awaits you in Mineral de Pozos, Mexico. With only three rooms, Nick and ManRay are delighted to provide you with a luxurious and individualized experience for your stay. Situated on the main square of Pozos, El Secreto affords visitors close proximity to the wonderful restaurants and galleries in the area as well as easy walks to the many artisan shops and other local points of interest. Behind our doors enjoy the seclusion within our lush gardens or total privacy if desired.

Rooms Available: ROOM A: Our largest room features a king size bed as well as a sofa that may be made into a queen size bed for up to two additional people. Decorated with a beautiful prehispanic mural, this room also features a cozy reading area and a bright bathroom with an oversized shower. ROOM B: This very quaint room, the favorite of many of our repeat customers, features fluffy, twin size beds that may be made into a king size bed upon request. Doors lead directly out onto a lush garden which is perfect for reading or meditation.



I ti n er a r y Arrival Day: Wednesday Apr. 16

Travel to Pozos Check into rooms at the Posada de las Minas or El Secreto Confirm your arrival with Carol

Day 1: Thursday Apr 17

Breakfast at your hotels Session begins at 10:00AM at Watson Studio (located on 5 Cinco de Mayo) Introductions and general information FOCUS OF THE DAY: Understanding Mexican Culture Telling a story with photography Photo Adventure #1: Mineral de Pozos – The Town

Day 2: Friday Apr 18

Early departure to San Miguel de Allende FOCUS OF THE DAY: Festivals and Religion – Semana Santa in Mexico Photo Adventure #2: Good Friday events in San Miguel de Allende

Day 3: Saturday Apr 19

Breakfast at your hotels Session begins at 10:00AM FOCUS OF THE DAY: Music in Mexican Culture Image editing in Lightroom/Photoshop Photo Adventure #3: Mariachi and Pre-Hispanic Musical Instruments

Day 4: Sunday Apr 20

Breakfast at your hotels Session begins at 10:00AM FOCUS OF THE DAY: Historical Landscapes Image editing in Lightroom/Photoshop Photo Adventure #4: Mines and Ruins in Pozos and Santa Brigida

Day 5: Monday Apr 21

Early departure to Queretero FOCUS OF THE DAY: Mexican Food Image editing in Lightroom/Photoshop Photo Adventure #5: Mercado de la Cruz (Market of the Cross)

Day 6: Tuesday Apr 22

Breakfast at your hotels Session begins at 10:00AM FOCUS OF THE DAY: Compiling Your Story Slideshow assignment Wrap-up dinner and slideshow

Departure Day: Wednesday Apr 23 Breakfast at your hotels Check out of rooms Transportation to airport

Note: Itinerary is tentative and is subject to change.


Workshop fees are based upon yo accommodations. Rates listed are on single and double occupancy. is reserved for those willing to sh participant. Your investment inclu (at Posada de las Minas or El Secr classroom session instruction and associated with the photography included.

A retainer of $750 is required fo balance due March 31st, 2014. Re may be transfered to another subs

Rooms are booked on a first-com of available rooms following regis retainer. Register early to ensure y This workshop is strictly limited

our choice of sleeping e per person and are based The double occupancy rate are lodging with another udes luxury lodging for 7 nights reto) including breakfast, d transportation/model fees field trips. Airfare is not

ollowing registration, with the etainers are non-refundable but stitute attendee of your choice.

me basis. You will have a choice stration and receipt of your your first choice of rooms! to 10 attendees.

Room: Single $1,600 USD Double $1,300 USD

Apartment*: Single $1,800 USD Double $1,500 USD

* Buena Vista and La Iglesia at the Posada

Getting There

The closest airport is located in Queretero (QRO) about 90 minutes drive from Mineral de Pozos. The airport is small but modern, and has flights arriving daily from US airlines. If you fly to QRO on Express Jet, United, Air Canada or Skywest, you’ll connect in Houston (IAH). If you fly to QRO on American or American Eagle, you’ll connect in Dallas (DFW). See the schedule below for current flights in and out of QRO. The planes are smaller jets. You’ll want to book early since Semana Santa is also a popular time to arrive in Mexico. You’ll book your flights to arrive on Wednesday, April 16 and depart on Wednesday April 23rd. We’ll provide airport transfers to/from QRO and Pozos. If you decide to arrive on an earlier date or depart on a later date, you’ll need to arrange your own airport transfer.

ARRIVALS From IAH Houston DFW Dallas IAH Houston DFW Dallas IAH Houston

Airline Express Jet, United, Air Canada American, American Eagle Skywest, United American, American Eagle Skywest, United

Arriving QRO 11:07 AM 1:10 PM 1:35 PM 3:30 PM 8:21 PM

DEPARTURES To IAH Houston DFW Dallas IAH Houston DFW Dallas

Airline Express Jet, United, Air Canada American, American Eagle Skywest, United American, American Eagle

Departing QRO 11:46 AM 2:05 PM 2:18 PM 4:25 PM

What to Bring You will need a laptop computer of some sort for the workshop. Some of the exercises will require a bit of “homework” and you’ll want to load and edit your images daily. A laptop is required for this workshop. On that laptop, you should have some sort of photo editing software. I will cover Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop techniques throughout the workshop so having either or both of these tools installed is recommended. Of course you’ll bring your cameras and all the necessary accessories such as lenses, batteries, chargers etc. You can bring film cameras too, but expect that you won’t be able to get the film developed until you arrive back home. Bring layers of clothing appropriate to spring days at high altitudes. It can get quite warm during the day and cool down once the sun goes down. Sensible shoes are critical since we will be navigating cobblestone sidewalks and be doing some hiking where there are cacti. Bring sunscreen, an umbrella and a hat too. Breakfast at your hotel is included, however you may want to bring along some of your favorite snacks/granola bars that you might not find in the markets here in Pozos. You’ll need some snacks to keep you going between meals or when we are traveling early mornings. You’ll purchase your other meals at local restaurants and mercados.

Safety in Central Mexico “Over the last several years we have been keeping a close eye on travel advisories for Mexico. If you are at all concerned about safety in Mexico please be aware that the U.S. State Department has no travel advisory for San Miguel de Allende nor the states of Guanajuato and Queretaro. We feel totally safe in San Miguel, as will you, and we hope you will join us.” - Santa Fe Workshops “It’s a real shame for people to write off a whole country without looking at the map and at the statistics. Without a solid understanding of the geography (761,606 square miles) and the nature of the drug wars (internecine fighting), many foreigners assume that all of Mexico is a war zone. But it isn’t…” - Washington Post

I live here in Pozos and I have never felt that safety is an issue. In fact, I feel safer here than I did when I traveled to the larger cities in the US and Canada.

Your Host

I’m a photographer who’s extremely passionate about travel and learning about other cultures. Over the last 10 years I’ve traveled all over the world and made it a priority to connect with local people so I could become more culturally aware when I photographed my destination and its people. My years of experience as a photographer has resulted in rather large portfolio of images from my travels. After submitting a series of infrared images to the International Photography Awards, I was awarded the Lucie Award for New Discovery of the Year in 2005 and was the first amateur photographer selected to appear in two IPA Best of Show traveling exhibitions. My images have been displayed in numerous galleries throughout the US and the world. My work has appeared in various books and magazines including World’s Greatest Black and White Photography and National Geographic Traveler. Collectors of my fine art photographs include NBA executives, Hollywood actors and CEO’s. As a gallery owner and director I have also served as juror or co-juror for multiple photographic competitions and has been the curator for more than a dozen photographic exhibitions. My background in computer technology has allowed me to become very proficient in the digital darkroom using Photoshop and Lightroom. Working over 20 years as an IT Manager has provided me with plenty of experience as a presenter and instructor. During those years, I’ve instructed many sessions on Cultural Awareness to help employees learn to understand and work with their cohorts from all over the globe. I strive to make my sessions very interactive and have a good understanding of how to make learning immersive and memorable. Over the last 10 years, I’ve attended workshops of multiple photography masters, such as Stephen Wilkes, Jock Sturges and Steve McCurry, to learn and observe them as instructors so I can incorporate successful approaches into my workshops. I’m confident that my knowledge of Central Mexico (I live in Mineral de Pozos), my love for cultural photography, my travel photography experience and my background as a teacher will combine to provide you with an amazing week here in Mexico. Hasta Luego,

Carol Watson

To Register To register and pay your retainer online, click HERE or go to my photography blog: After registering, you will receive an email to make your accommodation choice. Double registrations requesting rooms with two beds must register two attendees. If you have questions about registering and paying your retainer, please email me at any time. I look foward to seeing you in Pozos!


Spirit of Place Mexico - Workshop Guide  

Information on the Spirit of Place Mexico Workshop hosted by Carol Watson Photography.