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Retaking my Time(-lapse) with Rancho Mexicano

I’ve been photographing this striking bodega since 2010, but I’ve never been completely satisfied with the results. The first time it came out as too wide, with an unappealing, enlarged foreground.  I tried to conceal this shortcoming by cropping, but it got back at me and revealed itself for what was it was:  an underwhelming fragmentary detail. Four years later, I revisited the scene and tried something new. A panorama. Not bad. But I wanted to take it several steps further, into the realm of time-lapse video.

As they used to say in the fifties, third time’s a charm. I realized I’d been approaching this all wrong. Why such a limited approach? For example, why couldn’t it work as a two-minute video, specifically a time-lapse one. So I went ahead. Because the original name of the store was Cubano Loco, I supplied a well-known Cuban nueva canción piece for audio accompaniment, called “Hasta Siempre Commandante” by the immortal Carlos Puebla.

What do you think?

Those interested in reading more about the song (like its translation), consult the links I supplied in this YouTube video description.

Here is the original bodega posting from 2013, featuring an interview with the ebullient Salah Hijaz.

Peter Bates

Peter Bates is a writer and photographer living in Florida. He is the administrator of this blog and runs the blog Stylus.

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Published in Articles & Reviews Timelapse Videos


  1. Cary Cary

    I like the video, but have a question about the rights use of the song. You could hold the last frame longer to not have as much blank screen at the end, which can over emphasize the song.

    I don’t find anything seriously wrong with the first shot of the bodega re:width – make the far right structure brighter – though I do agree about the excessive foreground, which could b e cropped.

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