Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/Tomas Castelazo POTD
After 20 years of photographing the Fish Market of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico (aka Mercado Negro,) Tomas Castelazo is still drawn back to it for what he describes as a “good photographic and social experience.” The Fish Market of Ensenada is a culmination of several things that fascinate Castelazo. As a photographer, “the graphic environment is great,” with many shapes, textures, rhythms, abstractions and colors to photograph. Coupled with the smells, noises, tastes and interactions with the vendors it is easy to see why Castelazo keeps coming back. Castelazo claims that whenever he goes to photograph the Fish Market he always comes out with great images. While visiting the market with a friend he managed to capture this close-up of some freshly caught White Sea Bass(Atractoscion nobilis) on display.
“I loved the balance when I came across this image. On one side, the heads and the eyes give the picture a good rhythm. On the other, you can see the different textures and colors of the tails. I thought that they were both elements of the same subject, but presented separate and different interpretations,” said Castelazo
Castelazo identifies himself as a “committed photographer,” who believes that “getting paid to take photographs does not necessarily mean better quality.” A sort of middle ground between a hobbyist and a professional, “sometimes professional, sometimes hobbyist, but always committed.” From staring at cameras on the shelves of camera stores to working behind the lenses, Castelazo says his fixation with photography began when he bought his first camera at 13, a Kodak Instamatic. He worked with black and white for many years until he made the jump to digital and began experimenting with color, where he particularly enjoys exploring the different elements of his surrounding environment.
“When possible, I use photography as a language, to communicate or sensitize people with respect to environmental or social issues of our day and surroundings. But photography is also about giving people a visual experience that will take them out of the present experience, a moment of relaxation,” said Castelazo
Having taught Sociology and Photography at the high school and college level, Castelazo says as a teacher he believes that Wikipedia is a “great social experiment with incredible potential to do good.”
“It feels good to be acknowledged and recognized. But most importantly, a featured picture gives the image an opportunity to be seen and utilized in additional projects. That is where the real value is,” said Castelazo.