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Mexico City’s Day of the Dead through the lens of Antonio Olmos

Press release   •   Nov 04, 2014 11:54 GMT

Internationally renowned documentary photographer Antonio Olmos captures the Day of the Dead for the ‘Sony RX Celebrate the Streets’ series

Antonio Olmos, internationally-renowned documentary photographer who has shot areas including Afghanistan, Angola, Palestine and Nicaragua, has returned to the land of his birth for the first project of the ‘Sony RX Celebrate the Streets’ series. He has captured the vibrancy and spectacular colour of Mexico’s traditional Day of the Dead celebrations using the Sony Cyber-shot™ RX100 III.

Shot in a candid, captured-on-the-move street photography style he was asked to put into images the day on which thousands of people line the streets of Mexico City and in particular, the Mixquic area, to mark a tradition that dates back to Aztec times. Dia de Muertos, as it is known in Spanish, was originally an Aztec festival in which families gathered to honour the dead. A celebration held across 31 October to 2 November, the event was suppressed by the Spanish Conquistadors but was revived and has become inter-twined with Allhallowtide, All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowmas and All Saints Day.

In the Mexican town of Mixquic – now subsumed into the sprawling mass that makes up Mexico City – the festivities take to the streets as thousands throng the local cathedral’s graveyard, the only remaining church graveyard in the city, lighting it with candles to create a unique scene.

The ‘Sony RX Celebrate the Streets’ series aims to capture the diversity of the world’s street spectaculars, future potential projects for the ‘Celebrate the Streets’ series include New Orleans Mardi Gras, India’s Holi Festival and Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls – public events in which the celebrations are gatherings of people in a riot of colour and vibrant atmosphere to which street photography is perfectly suited.

Antonio’s Day of the Dead photography is the first entry and aims to put the Sony RX 100 III through its paces.

It was the perfect camera for Antonio Olmos to shoot on. Antonio, who was born in Mexico in 1964, was a staff photographer on The Miami Herald for three years. In 1991 he went freelance, focusing on Latin American issues, basing himself in Mexico City covering Central America and the Caribbean. Since 1993/1994 Olmos has been based in London, focusing on issues dealing with the environment and human rights. 20 years later, the ‘Celebrate the Streets’ series is the first project in which he has used the Sony Cyber-shot™ RX 100 III, as he returned to his cultural roots. 

With a wider, brighter lens and built-in viewfinder, the Sony Cyber-shot™ RX100 III packs even more shooting power into a compact body - offering professional quality in your pocket: Crafted in tough, travel-friendly aluminium for lightness and looks, the Cyber-shot™ RX100 III builds on the acclaimed reputation of its predecessors. An uprated lens and speedy image processor are complemented by a retractable OLED Tru-Finder™ with ZEISS® T* coating, enhanced movie features and a 180-degree tilting LCD – all in a stylish fixed-lens camera that’s truly pocket-sized. 

Antonio Olmos said of his contribution to ‘Sony RX Celebrate the Streets’: “In countries across the world, the streets are a social environment where, during these events and festivals, so many conventions are broken for the day. The Mexican Day of the Dead sees people of all classes and backgrounds come together to honour the deceased and everyone shares that celebration – it’s a moment when everyone shares in both joy and sorrow at those who have died.

“For a street and documentary photographer like me, these events offer a unique moment when the canvass is there – the people provide the colour, the character and the atmosphere, my job is to capture it in the moment. The Cyber-shot™ RX 100 III was ideal for the purpose because it’s small, light, powerful, but incredibly simple to use and intuitive. Its speed and the quality of the colour and detail it can deliver means that I was simply able to concentrate on searching for the right moment to shoot.”

The Cyber-shot™ RX 100 III is available from http://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-rx100m3  for £699

-ENDS-

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