A DAY IN MAZATLÁN, MEXICO
Photographs that show a few points of interest in Mazatlán, a Pacific coastal city known for seafood, the sandy beaches, beautiful architecture, and as the home of Pacifico, the brewing company. I also snuck in a photo editing tutorial.
In early April 2017 I went on a Mexican Riviera cruise with my parents—my cousin works for Princess and my parents truly cannot resist a discount. If you want to see my week in photos during the cruise, check out this post and this post.
In this post I wanted to share the photos I took with my actual DSLR, and share a little more about Mazatlán.
Here’s just a wider view of where Mazatlán is. It’s located in the state of Sinaloa along the Pacific coast.
Here’s a closer view of the city which also features a historic area Centro Histórico, or Old Mazatlán on a peninsula with a nearby adjacent island, “Stone Island.”
My parents kindly booked us a bus tour that took us through the city in the morning, and in the afternoon I wandered around and explored on my own. I had my DSLR with me for the bus tour portion and let my parents take it with them back to the boat when I decided to wander. So check out the weekly post here that shows the rest of the Mazatlán day (including discovering the city’s only micro-brewery!)
We stopped along Paseo del Centenario to a lookout point near El Mirador.
From here you can see the two white islands (that are covered in bird poop, but very magical looking), and also the lighthouse on the top of Creston Island.
So beautiful, so covered in shit
Vendors selling hats and jewelry line the lookout points
View from the bus, you can see the cruise ship in the distance to the left
Sights driving through the city
Another site along the Malecon (the longest oceanfront promenade in the world, apparently) is a plaza where tourists can see “cliff divers.”
I saw a comment in a previous ADIML post asking how I edit photos? And I thought I’d do a quick interlude about how I processed this image in approximately 1 minute. I know—if you are a super pro photographer, this is like basic and probably inaccurate—but it’s honest!
So here you go.
Step 1: I shoot in RAW, so this is a .CR2 file I’ve dragged into Photoshop.
Step 2: In this view, you can adjust white balance, exposure, contract, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, clarify, vibrance and saturation, before even opening the file in Photoshop. The right image is “auto white balance” and the left is “daylight”, I normally just adjust white balance in camera, so my original file already looked more like the one on the left.
Step 3: To me it looked a little flat, so I’ve darkened the shadows and boosted the contrast.
Step 4: I created a new adjustment layer > levels. From here I went into each channel (red, green and blue) and dragged the level sliders toward the center. This helps with tonal quality in the overall image.
Click between the slideshow above to see the levels layer added and the original image without the levels layer.
Step 5: I added another adjustment layer > curves. I still wanted to give more of a pop of dimension to the middle tones, especially because there is so much blue. I added a slight adjust in curves, which you can see in the above slideshow.
Step 6: Compare! Wooo! On the left is the jpg the camera captured, on the right is the raw image I’ve adjusted and added two adjustment layers on. I hope you like the right side better…and if not, it only took about a minute anyways.
Okay, back to the city tour!
The plaza is also known as a spot where locals will perform cliff diving for tourists (and will ask for tips). Hey—they are diving for your entertainment, if you can spare a few pesos/dollars they’d appreciate it.
Rapid-looking water. WHERE DID THE DIVER GO?!?!
Oh there he is! Safe and sound.
More sights as we loaded back in the bus.
Headed to the Historic Center of the City
We passed all kind of street market vendors selling fresh seafood. The city is known for all the oyster diving and fishing that takes place on the shores.
Made a mental note to come back and check out the market later (which you’ll see in my weekly photo post).
We arrive at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
Our guide explained that the architecture is a mix of Moorish, Gothic and Baroque styles, with other influences in the details (Jewish Stars of Davids, for example) because the priest who fundraised for the completion of the Cathedral wanted to thank all the donors across places and faiths by added a nod to their background in the design.
There are beautiful stained glass windows on two levels that fill the room with colorful rainbows.
I love the effect of the dappled colorful light
Headed to the last stop, the Golden Zone (the tourist zone) that is quite a drive from the historic city center, maybe on purpose haha.
This area is full of shops and restaurants (online people say overpriced shops) and shopping isn’t really my thing so I was looking for some beach access while we were there for a little.
Found a passageway that goes straight out to the beach
Hanging coconut baskets on a tree with coconuts!
More vendors on the beach, but look at the blue sky and water!
A boat! Here I got a few freshly shucked oysters and a fresh coconut, because why not. I didn’t have a chance to have other fresh seafood from the market vendors, and I didn’t want to miss out.
A few pics from my other post showing what we did in the city (shot on iPhone).
Here’s all the places I mentioned in the above post, just so you get a sense of the geography should you actually use this for reference ha. 🙂
That sums up the afternoon in Mazatlán. I would definitely come back. There was too much of the city that I feel I didn’t get to see. And we didn’t get to spend any time eating more seafood or exploring the other parts of the city.
Hope you enjoyed.
Much love friends.
10 replies on “A DAY IN MAZATLÁN, MEXICO + HOW I QUICKLY EDIT IN PHOTOSHOP”
“So beautiful, so covered in shit” – this literally made me laugh out loud. 🙂
Awesome tutorial! I have a DSLR as well. It’s several years old now but I love using it. Never shot in raw and I mainly use the auto mode but I have tried to get more into timing and the depth settings. One of these days I’ll figure it out.
Thanks for sharing all these neat west coast places. I don’t think I would have ever gotten a chance to go here except through your photos.
Thank you! If your memory allows, I prefer shooting raw and jpg (there’s a mode on your camera that should allow for both file types to be stored) that way you can practice with raw in post and have the jpg as a backup. Here’s a basics article on DLSR photography that (as I skimmed it) seemed useful!
Thanks for reading!
These photographs are so beautiful. I really love how you make photographs 🙂
Also, I’ll start shooting in RAW from now on 😀
Try it once and see how you like the results! 🙂
Aw, thank you—so kind!
Hey Sarah, thanks for posting the tutorial (I asked about it in one of your older posts). Your pictures always look vibrant and you edit without going overboard, which is why I wanted to see what your tips were in PS.
Hi! I went back and found your comment and replied—I think maybe wordpress doesn’t send notifications. Sorry about that! But yes, thank you for asking and I hope my little tutorial was helpful? I can sneak them in every once in a while.
Thanks for reading! 🙂