Embracing The Color Of Oaxaca

Oddly, It Is The Subtle Color That Draws My Eye And Lens

GE McKerrihan
4 min readMar 14


A patch work of repurposed sheet metal for a temporary door.
“Temporary Door” — Image by Author

A few days ago, I once again moved to a new neighborhood, in Oaxaca City. A neighborhood I have often walked in. A neighborhood I lived in for a short week, last April.

I have lived in a number of neighborhoods here. From the west, to the east. From the south, to the north. They all have different, and unique qualities.

I have to say, I have loved them all. I have loved them for their local color. For their individual personalities.

Removed plaster and electric meter.
“Removing Old Plaster” — Image by Author

No matter which neighborhood I have lived in, I always find myself walking towards Centro. Towards the center, of Oaxaca City. It calls me always.

It is the colors that call me. It is the quiet streets that beckon. It is these streets that feel like home.

Yes, there is traffic on these streets. That is a given. I pay it no mind. It goes with the territory. It never impedes my flow, my inner flow. It is actually a part of my flow.

Stairway of primary colors, with shadows.
“Stairway of Primary Color” — Image by Author

Early on in my days here, if you would have asked, I would have said all the colors are bright. And bright would have felt like an understatement. And in a sense they are, but compared to what, I would ask.

Yes, they are bright compared to the States, or faded Europe. And there are certainly moments of brightness here. Yet looking at this series of images made two days ago, the colors feel softer.

Is it my lens that is affecting the change I feel? Or is it my awareness of the reality of this ancient city? I tend to believe it is the latter.

Close up of palm trunk.
“Looking Closely” — Image by Author

It may also be a product of what I choose to focus my lens on. My attraction to vibrant color has faded somewhat. I have become more attracted to subtlety.



GE McKerrihan

I’ve been using the camera for nearly 50 years. I write about Photography, Art, Travel, and Life. Top Writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, and Inspiration.


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