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  • Writer's pictureChris Lanier

Connecting: A Master Piddler in Cabo San Lucas & San Jose Del Cabo

I've always been a piddler. In fact, my dawdling has earned me the title of "Master Piddler" from my wife. Flea markets, antique stores, museums and sadly, even convenience stores are just a sampling of the places where I can make hours disappear like minutes...much to my family's dismay. But for hobby photographers, creating the time and space to catch unplanned moments is often an enjoyable part of the process. Eighty percent of the time, the subject you came to shoot isn't the most interesting image that you end up capturing (I made up the eighty percent part...Pareto the link). That's what differentiates a professional from an amateur. Professionals have the right tools, knowledge of the craft, and skill to compress that time and deliver compelling images of the subject they were paid to capture. A hobby landscape photographer (yours truly) can wander about for hours at sunrise or sunset and simply wait for God's majesty to manifest in a thousand different ways. But woe be upon the wedding photographer that doesn't nail ceremony photos straight out of the gate lest they risk the fiery flame of bridezilla. I really had no appreciation for how hard such photography was until I started shooting myself. Simply capturing a proper exposure with a white wedding dress next to a black tux is a challenge. A super short list of variables the commercial artist must master on a tight timeline include things like lighting, background, and line of sight. Each genre of photography is a riddle that may take years to master. It's one of the things that makes photography so fun and why I encourage hobby-less friends to take it up. Shooting slows me down (much to my family's dismay...the Master Piddler needs no encouragement). I drink in the scenery, texture, and light around me more. For shutterbugs, almost everything is viewed through a virtual lens, even if the camera is tucked (locked? hidden by the family?) away back home or in the car. What time would the light be best here? Wonder if that tree would look more interesting if I placed the sun behind it? For a Master is a delight.

Piddle around long enough and great subjects might appear. Much respect to those that shoot on a timeline!

With my new job, I have lots of opportunities for photography on the road. While not always the case, "sitting" with the jet for a few days is common. For a guy prone to wandering aimlessly with a camera, few things could be more delightful. I'm not going to impose loads of structure on my blog, but I think I'll post images from the road under the "Connecting" headline. I had a chance to wander at land's end on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico recently. Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo are the two most prominent cities. I'd spent some time in San Jose Del Cabo before, but this was my first trip to Cabo San Lucas. The two cities feel quite different. CSL attracts sport fishermen, spring break crowds, and hosts the floating cities of Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines that lay anchor near city center. Rivers of tourists flood the concourse around the marina with a predictable rhythm. With many upscale restaurants and stores, CSL struck me as a cross between Downtown Disney and Marina Del Rey, CA. SJDC offers more affordable eats, less crowds, and a beautiful plaza filled with local families idling away the day in the middle of town. Full disclosure: I am not a sport fisherman. If that's your jam then CSL is likely the spot you need to hit. With time logged in both now, my tip of the hat goes to SJDC, but get down and explore them both.

Short recommendation list:

Accommodation: J.W. Marriott (Hilton had a good beach, but J.W. Marriott is my fav)

Public Service Announcement: The surf is amazingly violent and beautiful; be careful if you decide to get in!


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