Mexican Riviera

Mexican Riviera | Ensenada, Mexico

Mexican Riviera | Ensenada, Mexico

I recently went on a quick two day cruise to Ensenada aboard the Carnival Imagination. We disembarked from the Port of Long Beach and arrived in Ensenada, Mexico the following morning. Ensenada is a well known little town within the Mexican Riviera, which runs along the pacific coast from Ensenada at the northern end in Baja California, all the way down to Puerto Escondido near the southern tip of Mexico. The most popular cruise ship ports within the Mexican Riviera are typically Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta, all of which are beautiful cities, each with their own unique character.

I was surprised at how Americanized parts of Ensenada have become. While visiting the small town, I encountered several 7-Eleven stores, a Burger King, and a billboard for a nearby Walmart. On the other hand, the street vendors along the main drag were as authentic as it got selling all sorts of hand made goods at very affordable prices. Determined not to eat at Burger King while out there, I carried onward looking for a food joint that was a little more traditional and a whole lot less American. We found a small hole in the wall stand on the corner of a street that was grilling up authentic Mexican street tacos. It was the perfect example of how street tacos got their name. The stand wasn't even what you could call a restaurant. It was a completely open 3 sided shack with a chintzy little roof on top. I don't think California's food service grading system would even know how to rate this place. It was exactly what I was looking for. The owner grilled up the Carne Asada right in front of us, which was probably just purchased from the carniceria, then topped it with fresh pico de gallo and freshly squeezed lemon. Now that's something you just don't see anywhere else.

Technical Details:
This twelve shot panorama of Ensenada was captured aboard the cruise ship during the twilight hour. I unfortunately didn't have my tripod on me so I attempted to use my Gorillapod by wrapping it around the hand rail. That ended up being a disaster because my Gorillapod doesn't have the ball head, which would have made capturing this panorama a cinch. I was losing light and had to do something quick. I couldn't slow the shutter down any more than I already did without the photos being a blurry mess, which left me with no other option than to bump the ISO up. Noise levels were surprisingly at a minimum thanks to the excellent high ISO performance of the 5D Mark III (If you've ever considered upgrading to a full frame camera and like to shoot low light photography, this would be an excellent reason to upgrade). All twelve shots were stitched together in Photoshop CC with minor color correction applied.

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