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Latin American Fotografia: Whitman White

By David Schonauer   Wednesday August 31, 2016


Whitman White

  fell in love with San Miguel de Allende long ago.

White, a photographer based in Venice Beach, California, first traveled to the colonial-era city in Mexico in 1989. He was charmed by its baroque Spanish architecture and the surrounding landscapes of Mexico’s central highlands.

“Since then, my parents have moved to San Miguel de Allende full time, and I even bought a home there, as I loved the town so much,” he says.

A commercial travel and editorial portrait photographer, White says he “would go down there to hide out and shoot often.” The result was a series called “A la Sombra del Sol,” which focuses on both San Miguel de Allende and the city of Pozoz de Mineral, about an hour away — a pueblo fantasma (ghost town) that would have been lost to history were it not for the artists who settled there in the 1990s.

White’s series is a combination of landscapes, portraiture, and images focusing on small details — street scenes, architecture, and objects from the area that together form the visual backdrop of the area. He has published the work in a book and created a series of fine-art prints and greeting cards available at his website.

The series was also named a winner of the Latin American Fotografia 4  competition.


Most of the “A la Sombra del Sol” images were captured on now discontinued Kodak Plus-X black-and-white film and then scanned at high resolution, White says. Prints from the series range up to 36 x 36 inches.

At his website, White notes that he has been taking photographs professionally since the age of 15. “I love what a photo can do. I love photography as a craft and I take pleasure in showing people how I see things,” he writes.

See White's work at his website.

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Dispatches from Latin America