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Uploaded 14 Jun 2008 — 137 favorites
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© marshall
Views 1302
Likes 3
Favorites 136
Comments 103
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Photo Info
UploadedJune 15, 2008
TakenApril 23, 2008
ModelCanon EOS 30D
Exposure1/30 sec at f/2.8
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length16 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

I gotta be honest and admit that this is one of those "happy surprises" ("happy accidents"?)... but the truth is that you've got to be out there shooting a ton for them happen, right? I found where I wanted to be, chose all the settings, and waited. I knew that kids were running around and had already taken a solid pic, just waited for the right moment to come along and clicked away.

This is another photo from Zapopum, a month-long performing arts festival here in Zapopan, Mexico, just outside of Guadalajara, more or less in the central highlands. I'd read about the inflatable village, saw a photo, and took off running to take photos in it!

I know that people that know much more than me about photography have suggested that we shoot close to home, shoot what we know, but I would also say that it's important to check into unique photo opportunities outside of what we're familiar with. This photo basically shot itself, all I did was be aware of where the cool opportunities were going to be.

When I went through my photos I was pleased with many of them, but this one made me stop - it just grabbed me. And still grabs me. I think there's something unconsious happening, because, to me at least, it's very powerful. The word "archetypal" comes to mind, but I can't explain any further.

Tell me if it affects you like that, too.

103 responses

  • Fran Ott

    Fran Ott gave props (14 Jun 2008):

    Very cool indeed.

  • Bill Harner

    Bill Harner said (14 Jun 2008):

    Wow. Great shot. Gotta love those happy accidents that seem to make a lot of photography :). I think this would look even better printed really big on metallic paper, or better yet, metal...

  • Audrey Kanekoa-Madrid

    Audrey Kanekoa-Madrid (Deleted) gave props (14 Jun 2008):

    You r back! :) This is awesome! So mysterious!

  • Andrew Lorimer

    Andrew Lorimer (Deleted) gave props (14 Jun 2008):

    Wow Amazing Capture love the colors as well !!

  • Kiwi ana

    Kiwi ana (Deleted) gave props (14 Jun 2008):

    Absolutely! It's like the body has been stalled while the inner being takes notes. Powerful indeed.

  • David Adriani

    David Adriani (Deleted) said (15 Jun 2008):

    amazing! Great light!

  • David Eastham

    David Eastham gave props (15 Jun 2008):

    Love the colors and the light is amazing.

  • marilu

    marilu (Deleted) gave props (15 Jun 2008):

    Great composition!

  • adniloj

    adniloj gave props (15 Jun 2008):

    Very nicely done, surprise or not! (now, can you do it again?) ;-)

  • Kris Martin

    Kris Martin said (15 Jun 2008):

    it grabbed me too :) well done

  • Fried M. Khan

    Fried M. Khan gave props (15 Jun 2008):

    horrorshowpic!! creepy ^^

  • Julie Burger

    Julie Burger said (15 Jun 2008):

    Welcome back! Great shot: a little Twilight Zone, a little Outer Limits, very mysterious and then the surprise of some happy colors. It is surreal, yet inviting. Wonderful shot! I understand what you mean about stirring something within, but I can't put my finger on it either. Maybe that's the mysterious part!

  • Magda Beda

    Magda Beda said (15 Jun 2008):

    fantastic ;) I really like it. The tones , the comp, veray nice.

  • Jan Hoffman

    Jan Hoffman gave props (15 Jun 2008):

    This is wild! Reminds me of a carnival fun house; quite an eye-popper -- well done

  • May Lattanzio

    May Lattanzio gave props (15 Jun 2008):

    Very interesting, and certainly saleable. A little eerie, a little edgy. Good work.

  • Howard Seelig

    Howard Seelig said (15 Jun 2008):

    Great example of Cartier-Bresson's "The Decisive Moment". Well done Marshall.

  • Jade  Vreeland

    Jade  Vreeland said (16 Jun 2008):

    love this

  • Laura Boston-Thek

    Laura Boston-Thek gave props (16 Jun 2008):

    Very cool and graphically the complimentary colors and the silhouette moving through the compo!

  • Jose Vásquez

    Jose Vásquez said (16 Jun 2008):

    this is awesome!

  • ! Mario Scattoloni ¡

    ! Mario Scattoloni ¡ gave props (16 Jun 2008):

    Patience is a true virtue when it comes to creating dynamic images....Xcellent in all respects.

  • Giant Wannabe

    Giant Wannabe gave props (16 Jun 2008):

    Incredible shot indeed!!!

  • Karen Zimmerman

    Karen Zimmerman gave props (16 Jun 2008):

    Breathtaking, Marshall! Perfect and wonderful to look at!

  • judy fouse

    judy fouse gave props (16 Jun 2008):

    I see what you mean. This photo does 'grab' you. Beautiful colors and perspective. It doesn't sound like an accident when you picked your setting, set up the scene and waited for the right moment. Sure sounds planned to me. Good work.

  • maria tizon

    maria tizon (Deleted) gave props (17 Jun 2008):

    What a great entry to this theme. Wonderful color and depth.

  • Mitra

    Mitra said (17 Jun 2008):

    Right out of the credits of a spooky horror film....great job

  • Melissa Hearle

    Melissa Hearle gave props (18 Jun 2008):

    Awesome, definitely made me stop to look! Great work!

  • Portia Söderberg

    Portia Söderberg (Deleted) gave props (19 Jun 2008):

    awesome handle on exposure, great framing and composition. Terrific shot.

  • John Sloan

    John Sloan (Deleted) said (20 Jun 2008):

    Good to see you posting again. I like the fact that you are able to capture a dreamlike quality in many of your photos. You have a great style!

  • Rachel Mckinnie

    Rachel Mckinnie gave props (20 Jun 2008):

    Right ON!!!

  • Paul G. Swanson

    Paul G. Swanson gave props (20 Jun 2008):

    nice mood and light...=]

  • Nancy Charter Kechnie Goatbe

    Nancy Charter Kechnie Goatbe said (20 Jun 2008):

    Great photo, it is captivateing.. You want to look at the dynamics more and more.. it makes me think of the 6o's with it's colours.. the goemtry of the spiral is subtle but there.. as I saw it on my monitor from a distance, it looked pretty interesting as well..Thanks for reminding us..too get out and about to different events for some novel shots, and to branch a little out of the familiar comfort zones..

  • Ronnie Ginnever

    Ronnie Ginnever said (20 Jun 2008):

    I believe when one is truly involved in a photo shoot the camera becomes an extension of the eye, the body, and mind (when you're hot). Intuition, knowledge, life, and luck may be with you as well. This is a cool and dreamlike image and you choose to post it and show it. Bravo!

  • Penny Nannini

    Penny Nannini   said (20 Jun 2008):

    welcome back...this is fantastic!

  • Ognjen Karabegović

    Ognjen Karabegović gave props (20 Jun 2008):

    Exelent art work.

  • Randa Lee

    Randa Lee gave props (20 Jun 2008):

    very nice! love the colors

  • Simon Le

    Simon Le gave props (20 Jun 2008):

    Amazing capture Marshall! Great composition, contrast & lighting. The colors are just superb! Great work.

  • Jay Stockhaus

    Jay Stockhaus (Deleted) gave props (20 Jun 2008):

    Brilliant image, perfect.

  • Zohar Lindenbaum

    Zohar Lindenbaum said (20 Jun 2008):

    Good stuff, i love the depth behind the girl.

  • SJK

    SJK said (21 Jun 2008):

    Absolutely fabulous!

  • Lynn H

    Lynn H (Deleted) gave props (21 Jun 2008):

    Love it!!!!!!

  • J. Harris Blacklist

    J. Harris Blacklist gave props (23 Jun 2008):

    Uhmmm Spectacrific!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (29 Jun 2008):

    Great entry.

  • M.S. White

    M.S. White said (29 Jun 2008):

    I like the sci-fi feeling of it. I love how the firey-orange color seems to be spilling into the tunnel. The moment you captured seems to suggest that the person has stopped for a moment in hesitation, as if wondering what is in the bright light. Great capture!

  • Jeff Clark

    Jeff Clark gave props (1 Jul 2008):

    I don't know how this wasn't picked for the challenge. Great shot!

  • peggy gardner

    peggy gardner gave props (2 Jul 2008):

    my god this is fabulous !

  • Farras Abdelnour

    Farras Abdelnour gave props (2 Jul 2008):

    Just beautiful!

  • Victor Ursabia

    Victor Ursabia said (3 Jul 2008):


  • Jo Jo

    Jo Jo gave props (6 Jul 2008):

    Amazing capture! The lighting from different sources gives it amazing depth. Nicely done!!!

  • Janice Mezzacappa

    Janice Mezzacappa (Deleted) gave props (7 Jul 2008):

    This is totally awesome, it rocks!!!

  • Laurent Chantegros

    Laurent Chantegros gave props (8 Jul 2008):

    Excellent shot! nice colors

  • Karl Browne

    Karl Browne gave props (9 Jul 2008):

    Wow! That is stunning. Bravo!

  • PabloHunny

    PabloHunny gave props (9 Jul 2008):

    truth be told, i have a few of those 'happy surprises' in my jpg portfolio too. they're neat...just like this pic.

  • Farias Filho Luiz Roberto

    Farias Filho Luiz Roberto gave props (9 Jul 2008):

    Just amazing! Eye-catching!

  • Ken McElroy

    Ken McElroy gave props (9 Jul 2008):

    I find it enchanting and highly symbolic - young female figure looking into the abyss. Accident or not for me it comes across as very metaphorical. I think Ronnie G hit it on the head. We create our most meaningful images when we are in that creative zone in overdrive and near unconscious of what we are into.

  • Scott Korn

    Scott Korn gave props (9 Jul 2008):

    Don't you love when that happens!

  • Scott Korn

    Scott Korn gave props (9 Jul 2008):

    Don't you love when that happens!

  • Ron Lodi

    Ron Lodi said (10 Jul 2008):

    if this can't grab you,nothing can !!!!!!!!!!!! ron

  • Guy with a camera

    Guy with a camera gave props (11 Jul 2008):

    nice shot....persistence pays off!!

  • Eric Finster

    Eric Finster (Deleted) gave props (11 Jul 2008):

    I'm impressed!

  • Allan Meek

    Allan Meek (Deleted) gave props (13 Jul 2008):

    Stunning photography

  • Claire Ong

    Claire Ong said (13 Jul 2008):

    Indeed, this shot stopped me in my tracks. Wow! Knowing where the cool opportunities is half of it all. Waiting for the moment is the other! ;) Great Great shot!!!

  • Sarah Leander

    Sarah Leander gave props (15 Jul 2008):

    Beautiful- it just draws you in....

  • marshall

    marshall gave props (16 Jul 2008):

    you guys SO freakin' ROCK! whenever i'm lacking a smile, i just come here to read the comments and all is well! THANKSSSS!!!!

  • Craig Fraizer

    Craig Fraizer gave props (19 Jul 2008):

    great capture, poetic

  • Patricia Shanahan

    Patricia Shanahan gave props (19 Jul 2008):

    INCREDIBLE shot ! Great lighting !

  • Mandolin Davis

    Mandolin Davis gave props (21 Jul 2008):

    so very very cool!

  • Nelson Campbell

    Nelson Campbell (Deleted) gave props (22 Jul 2008):

    complex and simple, open and closed, brilliant and muted - fabulous.

  • Christopher Smith

    Christopher Smith gave props (22 Jul 2008):

    Wow! Fantastic!

  • Lisa Brown

    Lisa Brown gave props (22 Jul 2008):

    This is amazing! Wow! :)

  • Ray Chiarello

    Ray Chiarello (Deleted) gave props (22 Jul 2008):

    Wow! Very cool shot!

  • Natalia Delgado

    Natalia Delgado gave props (23 Jul 2008):

    an amazing picture, very good eye

  • Brian Howell

    Brian Howell gave props (23 Jul 2008):


  • Ognjen Karabegović

    Ognjen Karabegović gave props (24 Jul 2008):

    Exelent.Fantastic colors.Braaaaaaaaaaaavooooo!!!!!!

  • mark yugawa

    mark yugawa   said (26 Jul 2008):!
    fantastic shot

  • Howard Grill

    Howard Grill said (27 Jul 2008):

    Beautiful....has a very X Files look to it!

  • Claudia Kuhn

    Claudia Kuhn gave props (27 Jul 2008):

    This is very cool Marshall, awesome colors and silhouette!

  • alepine1

    alepine1 said (31 Jul 2008):

    This is such a great shot and what a wonderful accident! Makes me wanna check out this inflatable village.

  • aurelio laloni

    aurelio laloni (Deleted) gave props (8 Aug 2008):

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

  • masgareng yustinus sucipto

    masgareng yustinus sucipto gave props (12 Aug 2008):

    That's is sooo amazing shot.. great timming and lovely colour. ur imagine is unreachable.. u are my inspiration

  • Merwyn Kanjes

    Merwyn Kanjes said (13 Aug 2008):

    Wowww...Great shot... Amazing lighting. Welldone.

  • Robert Armstrong

    Robert Armstrong (Deleted) gave props (15 Aug 2008):

    Excellent shot! This is one hell of a image! Wow!

  • Susan Olson

    Susan Olson said (15 Aug 2008):

    This one is fucking cool!

  • Anna Chipman

    Anna Chipman gave props (16 Aug 2008):

    Love this image! Beautiful colors and you would never know that this was a happy accident. I love how you give imformation to your images.

  • Vladan Djordjevic

    Vladan Djordjevic gave props (19 Aug 2008):

    Terrific image! Love the colors, composition, tones, lines and feel.

  • david grajales

    david grajales gave props (19 Aug 2008):

    thats nice shoot!!

  • david grajales

    david grajales gave props (19 Aug 2008):

    thats nice shoot!!

  • herman vandecauter

    herman vandecauter (Deleted) gave props (21 Aug 2008):

    nice capture!

  • Matt Granz

    Matt Granz gave props (25 Oct 2008):

    Awesome silhouette shot! It totally Rocks!

  • Guna Dwi

    Guna Dwi gave props (14 Dec 2008):

    great lighting,nice composition,and mysterious image. stunning

  • Cindy Griff

    Cindy Griff said (26 Mar 2009):

    Powerful indeed, excellent use of lighting , lots of patients and incredible timing for subject all rolled into one incredible photo capture.
    You've done very well !

  • lowison

    lowison gave props (15 Jan 2010):

    Can I say : nice photo?

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (19 Jan 2010):

    It's the pause before walking into the unknown. You know what you're leaving, but what's ahead could be terror, could be unbridled joy, could be uncertainty, could become familiar. You've caught the moment on the precipice....go ahead or return?

  • Jyri Vissak

    Jyri Vissak gave props (19 Jan 2010):

    Very creative!

  • Desiree Adams

    Desiree Adams gave props (19 Jan 2010):

    Perfect! I love everything about it! Very artistic!

  • Robin Lerios

    Robin Lerios said (19 Jan 2010):


  • Bonnie King

    Bonnie King gave props (21 Jan 2010):

    this is really cool!!!!


    Burak BAYINDIRLI gave props (23 Jan 2010):

    This is more than a picture, Amazing ...

  • eithne mythen

    eithne mythen gave props (28 Jan 2010):

    Wow one of the best shots I've seen, love it..

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (4 Feb 2010):

    Excellent!! AAA+++

  • Neil Woo

    Neil Woo said (15 Feb 2010):

    wow this is a shot that can grab you , amazing

  • eric cahan

    eric cahan (Deleted) gave props (16 Feb 2010):

    awesome shot. a favorite

  • arif Ferdian

    arif Ferdian gave props (17 Feb 2010):

    a props for great capture, its make me breathless.... superb...!!!

  • Nicole Lee

    Nicole Lee (Deleted) gave props (3 Jun 2010):


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