Antigua Street Scene

I woke up each day I spent in Antigua, Guatemala attempting to catch the blue morning glow of the sky against the colourful exteriors of the houses and shops that closely line the streets. The mourning light has a way of bringing out a soft colour from anything it touches. The yellow, pink and blue paint of the buildings would be magnified in this early light, although it meant waking up at 4 in the morning for 3 days in a row, it was worth it. The colonial city of Antigua is back dropped by an impressive volcano, and it wouldn’t be fair to photograph the city without incorporating the giant mountain.

The street in Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua Street Scene

How I Got this Shot

I actually used three different, but basic, techniques to get this specific photo of Antigua. I wanted to incorporate the two iconic sites of Antigua, the arch and the volcano, into one image so in doing so I used the technique of framing. The second technique I used involved using lines. Using the lead of the street lights I created a runway in a way leading to the final light which provided the most powerful star. The final technique was that of starring the lights. To create the star effect I shot the scene with a narrow aperture (f/16).

For the curious photographers. Antigua Street Scene was shot on a canon 60d with a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, focal length 18mm, aperture f/16, shutter speed 30 seconds, and ISO at 100mm.


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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18 Comments

  1. Really love the way the volcano is framed. Cool shot!

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    • Thanks Dalene!

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  2. An awesome photo–getting up at 4 am was worth it to get this incredible pic. Thanks for sharing!

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    • @Sandy – Getting up is almost always worth it. There always seems to be such a great sky too!

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  3. Great shot of classic Antiqua! Definitely worth getting up at the butt-crack of dawn for this! 🙂

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    • @Peggy – Hahaha… butt crack of dawn… love it!

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  4. Now I wish I wasn’t so lazy and woke up early to get a shot like this. Spectacular shot mate. I know I should set my alarm to get the sky like this. Thanks for the tips in your set up.

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    • @Ant – If we meet up here in San Jose I’ll wake you up at 4am to go get some images!

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  5. Such a fantastic picture, Brendan! This is really an iconic picture from Antigua. Thank you so much for spreading your magnificent shots from Guatemala!
    We hope you continue enjoying your journey through these fantastic countries we love to promote.
    🙂

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    • @TACA – Thanks for the kind words… it’s a beautiful part of the world for sure!

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    • @Michael – I feel like it allows people to feel more like they’re there with me taking the picture… a little bit of fun.

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  6. Well shot Brendan. I love the colours -it’s a little surreal and fantastic. This image makes me think of the early morning serenity, as well as intriguing me about Antigua as a travel destination. I love the idea of exploring that mix of Caribbean paradise and rich local and colonial history.

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  7. AWESOME!
    I love the way you enclave the volcano at the arc. Great capture! Mesmerizing! AMAZING!

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  8. Yeah truly makes one wonder a thousand words but not able to discern the meaning. But overall it amazes someone to just see the very capture at the right moment.

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  9. Love how you crop this shot with the mountain behind the doorway. Beautiful night scene too.

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