danieldurazo Daniel A. Durazo

A fellow [email protected] 🌎 Surprise yourself and get a little lost ✉️ Keen on collaborating? Drop me a line 📷 Portraiture @durazophotography
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danieldurazo: A single penny, embedded in the frozen reflecting

A single penny, embedded in the frozen reflecting pool that lies between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. Only one edge of the penny peeks out of the ice: god we trust. Fitting. 2

104 13 Feb 16, 2018
danieldurazo: The #cherryblossom trees in DC’s tidal basin

The trees in DC’s tidal basin come to life in the spring. Overnight, pink and purple and white burst forth from twisty branches. Their flowing, falling, all too ephemeral colors make the capital’s stern, stoic monuments stand out all the more in their permanence. Unmoving, carved in gray and white stone, they contrast with the seasonal, almost frivolous exuberance of the flowers.

215 20 Feb 9, 2018
danieldurazo: Sounds and movement surround you in Costa Rica’

Sounds and movement surround you in Costa Rica’s rural country side. Rolling tractors, braying bulls, running children. And in the midst of it all lay this old man. Completely motionless, softly snoring, he was inconspicuous. His very stillness made him stand out from the commotion around him, an oasis of serenity in a moving world.

120 23 Feb 9, 2018

"45 years ago there was nothing here. Now there’s roads, buildings, cell phone signals. But there used to be nothing. Nothing but sand, dates, and dust," said the grizzled old man as he emerged from the desert. Oman’s empty landscapes are spellbinding. Over the past 45 years the Sultan, Qaboos bin Said, has pushed back against this wilderness, transforming the Sultanate from what was once an isolated country, with just one school and two hospitals, into a modern nation with highways, airports, oil refineries. It's striking that just under half a century ago, most Omanis (some of them still alive today) lived much as their forbears had for centuries: eking a modest living, coaxing dates from the desert soil, herding camels and goats, enveloped in the warm embrace of family, and a village they seldom left. Indeed, one of the most fascinating things about Omanis is that even now many of them strive to make (and keep) the best of two very different worlds: the brave new world of plastic, metal, and glass, and the old world of dates and dust. They will tell you there is joy and frustration in both. It is a choice, one we make every day through our actions, but to which we seldom give conscious thought. What kind of world do we want to live in? What will we embrace of the new world, and what of the old world will we keep? 2

168 9 Jan 13, 2018
danieldurazo: As I approached, the walls of the narrow

As I approached, the walls of the narrow canyon—smoothed by millenia of wind and water—folded back like a curtain. I stepped into the clearing and had to crane my neck just to take in the sheer scale of the thing. It loomed so much larger in fact than it had in my imagination. Seeing Petra’s Treasury (Al-Khazneh, in Arabic) was akin to looking upon the vast ocean or the endless night sky. I felt tiny, insignificant, and yet possessed by a profound sense of peace and awe. Arab Nabateans carved the Treasury out of the sandstone cliff nearly 2,000 years ago; and yet it stands, silent and solemn. I doubt the Nabateans could have imagined that two thousand years later, half a million visitors a year would flock to their mausoleum from around the world to marvel at its beauty, it's permanence. What might be left of The Treasury two millennia from now, I wonder? Indeed, what might be left of us? Can we even imagine? 2

203 16 Jan 11, 2018

. When record-low freezing temperatures leave the ponds and reflecting pools near the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument frozen solid, there’s only one thing to be done: head out on the ice, and .

121 8 Jan 8, 2018

. Another circle around the sun. If time is truly infinite, then demarcations thereof are, in a cosmic sense, truly meaningless... except to us. Because to us, as humans, time is quite finite as far as we can reasonably tell. Very finite indeed, and every little bit counts. My thanks to those of you who have followed along with me these past 365 earthly rotations. Happy New Year to all, and may we all make the most of the next 525,600 minutes. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo, y 明けましたおめでとう!

114 9 Jan 2, 2018
danieldurazo: Earlier this year, I got a worried call

Earlier this year, I got a worried call from my mom. She said that my grandma, who is now in her early 90s, had unexpectedly gone to the hospital, and wasn’t doing very well. She was disoriented, and her heart was struggling. I was over 7,000 miles away in the Middle East. But I managed to be on a plane just a few weeks later, on the way to Mexico City to visit. In the interim, my grandma had started to recover, and was released from the hospital. By the time my brother and I made it to Mexico City, she was in very good spirits. Spending time with her, hearing her stories (and boy, does she have some stories) made me realize something important. Up until this year I had devoted a great deal of my energy to photographing the far away lands and the strangers I encountered on my travels. Visiting my grandmother helped me see the importance of capturing memories of the people closest to me, while I still can. Though I had started to gravitate towards photographing my friends and family earlier this year, visiting my grandmother gave the realization new significance. It was one of the most powerful lessons I learned during the past year. Indeed, one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned in a while, and for that I am grateful. So here’s to my grandma. I can only hope to live as long and in such good health as she has, and to some day inspire someone in the next generation the way my grandmother has inspired me. 2017

161 18 Dec 29, 2017
danieldurazo: Keep chasing the #light, kid. Hope you find

Keep chasing the , kid. Hope you find what you're looking for.

179 13 Dec 23, 2017
danieldurazo: These votive candles inside the Basílica de

These votive candles inside the Basílica de Suyapa in Honduras' capital of Tegucigalpa remind me that with each candle of knowledge you light, more are revealed that have yet to be lit. I made this photo almost five years ago, when I had only just started taking my photography more seriously. Back then, I chose to remain ignorant of just how vast the world of photography could be. From the technical and artistic aspects, to the cultural and historical ones, I was too lazy or too proud to delve deeper. All I had was a burning desire to share with others the way I perceived the world. I don't remember exactly when or how it was that I finally saw the , and became willing to admit to just how much I had yet to discover. But once that first candle of knowledge was lit, it allowed me to see and light the rest. The more I've learned, the more I've realized how deep the darkness goes, and how far the light can reach. • What was the spark that inspired you to start learning more about your own passion? 🕯️

157 7 Dec 22, 2017

. Sometimes the simple flavors are the best flavors. Freshly caught fish, a healthy sprinkling of salt, and a hot coal-fired oven. In the coastal Portuguese  town of Sesimbra, they know how to do seafood right, and remind you that you don't need to make things so complicated.

161 17 Dec 17, 2017

. There aren’t many experiences that quite compare to being invited to a home-cooked meal in a foreign land. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr (The Festival of Breaking the Fast). In the villages of Oman’s interior, this often means killing several goats, wrapping them in banana leaves, burying them in the ground, and smoking them overnight. There was a unique glint of visceral satisfaction in the eyes of all those who, after a month of fasting during daylight hours, feasted together around communal plates, as the sun shone brightly outside.

169 14 Dec 16, 2017

. There’s a special kind of hunger that only comes late at night. There’s a particular smell and taste to the food that simply doesn’t happen during the daytime, or when you’re indoors. I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on it, and that’s ok. Wherever I go, my first question is: what do people here eat on the street ?

142 4 Dec 16, 2017

. Not once did he look up in the few minutes I saw him. Jaw slack, eyes unblinking, his demeanor withdrawn and distant. He was surrounded by newspapers, books, and magazines, but his eyes remained fixed, almost fused, to the screen. I hope that I'm wrong. I hope this kid runs around and plays outside and reads books. I hope he doesn't simply spend most of his days on his phone. And it's not lost on me that I'm guilty of the same vice. I'm typing these very words on my own little screen. But I'm trying to spend less time staring, and more time doing. Technology can be incredibly useful if we use it to help us think, learn, explore, and get to know people, instead of just relying on it for distraction. What do you use your phone for?

148 12 Dec 12, 2017
danieldurazo: You can often tell how good someone is

You can often tell how good someone is at their work just by looking at their . There’s a confidence that comes only with time. With having made mistakes. The hours and days and years of practice confer a way of knowing without looking; indeed, of knowing without thinking. What’s your ?

113 8 Dec 8, 2017
danieldurazo: A white #VW beetle, a French sign in

A white beetle, a French sign in blue and red, and a spry old man; the streets of Beirut.

152 11 Dec 7, 2017

. I saw the Kennedy Center lit up like a rainbow out of my windshield from the bridge, and knew I had to come back. I had to get a few good shots before they removed the lights, and find out what the special occasion was. The very next day, I made my way over to Roosevelt Island right before dusk. I hopped off the regular path, crunched my way through fallen leaves, dying grass, and muddy soil to the eastern edge of the islet, and set up my tripod. For a solid hour it was just me and my camera, the gently lapping waves, the darkening sky and the glowing lights. . . It turns out that this is the 40th year of the Honors Gala. Each December, the Kennedy Center celebrates five artists who have shaped America’s cultural landscape; the lighting reflects the ribbons on the medallions each honoree receives. Last night, the recipients included Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, Lionel Richie, Norman Lear, and Carmen de Lavallade. My utmost to each one of these legends. . . If I weren’t for my photography, I would have probably simply glanced at the Kennedy Center without a second thoght. But photography compels me to come back, to try harder, to explore. That intrinsic motivation is one of the things about this art form for which I am most grateful. How does photography move you? 🌃 🌈

184 16 Dec 4, 2017
danieldurazo: I spent two years living in a place

I spent two years living in a place most Americans have never heard of: the Sultanate of Oman. Despite being over 7,000 miles apart, my girlfriend and I made the most of it, traveling togther as often as we could. When I finally returned to the U.S., she bought a huge map, a foam board, a frame, and dozens of colored pins. She used them to build a visual record of the many places we've visited both together, and apart. It may seem silly, but each time I look at the map all laid out, I can’t help but reminisce about the many places to which I’d like to return, while dreaming of all the places still left to explore... . . . 🗺️ 🗺️

227 33 Dec 3, 2017
danieldurazo: This was some of the best ice-cream

This was some of the best ice-cream I’ve ever had. The hand-written flavors were a nice touch, too. The friendly server deftly placed her hand across her shirt to keep it from brushing against the labels (and the ice cream). She smiled when she noticed I was taking pictures, and smiled more when I showed her the look of concentration she wore while scooping the ice cream. For me anyway, uncomplicated, low-tech but sincere friendly service goes a lot further than fancy technology and convenience.

99 9 Dec 1, 2017
danieldurazo: I think it might be impossible to look

I think it might be impossible to look lame whilst singing Queen songs at karaoke at the top of your lungs. Or maybe my friend is just a baller. Either way, this was a fun night.

97 7 Nov 28, 2017

. Joy often waits just behind the ordinary. It can be so easy to walk down the road of resentment. It slopes downward, slippery, and is easy to get stuck in. The road of gratitude instead crests upward. It can be a challenging climb. But if you grab hold of the many small, seemingly insignificant ordinary things in life for which you can be grateful—a smile, a good meal, a home—the ascent is not quite so daunting. May we all be successful in that climb. Happy Thanksgiving everyone 🦃🍁🍂🍃

144 8 Nov 22, 2017

. A blustery, chilly Sunday. A warm bed and a snuggly cat. Some mornings can be pretty close to perfect. We all feel the pressure to always be moving, hustling, planning, executing, being productive. It’s nice sometimes to lay back and .

149 9 Nov 20, 2017
danieldurazo: A man on the sidewalk, with a suitcase,

A man on the sidewalk, with a suitcase, and a hand-written note. Where did he come from? Where was he going? I wish I had asked.

114 3 Nov 20, 2017

pools often cause me to reflect on things; who knew? 🤔

116 7 Nov 16, 2017