The Streets and People of Guatemala as Seen Through the Lens of Jochen Smuda of Ucon

From pro-rollerblading to running a streetwear brand, Jochen Smuda has a pretty full schedule, but he finds time to travel the world and explore new places. This time, he headed to Guatemala and El Salvador and was kind enough to share some of his favorite analogue photographs of the trip and some insightful tips. Read more after the jump.

Check out a full gallery of his images at the end of the article!

Please tell us something about yourself, from what you do for fun to what you do for work, if you’re lucky, they’re one in the same!

My name is Jochen Smuda and I run the streetwear brand Ucon with my friends from Berlin. You already named it, on the one side it is my daily work to make my living on the other it is the one thing I truely love doing for over 11 years now. Everyday you are faced with so many new things, and that is the fact I love most about it – it never gets boring. Also, I love doing a lot of other things which bring fun to my life like all kinds of different sports, music, taking photos while travelling aroud the world and of course spending as much time as possible with my girlfriend.

Can you tell us a little bit about your trip to Guatemala?

I traveled to El Salvador and Guatemala at the beginning of the year with my girlfriend. We visited a good friend of mine and stayed there for almost 3 weeks. We traveled all around the country mostly by bus which was kind a hard at the beginning until we got used to it but it was also really impressive getting in touch with that different culture over there.

What three tips can you give someone visiting Guatemala for the first time?

  • Be careful in Guatemala city at night, it`s dangerous if you hit the wrong streets.
  • Although it’s a tourist thing, take the sunrise tour in Tikal. Listening to the jungle waking up at 4 a.m. was one of the most emotional moments in my life.
  • Get inspired by the great smile all those Guatemalan put on their faces.

A lot of your pictures are of the people, what is your impression of Guatemalan culture?

I just loved the way the Guatemalan dressed with their colorful cloth. Always friendly – always helpful, we didn’t have one single bad experience. I think they are extremely nice not only to the tourists.

How does Guatemalan culture differ from your own?

You can’t compare that to our culture. Time is different over there, and the whole way of living differs a lot. I don’t want to judge if this is better or not, it is just a lot different to the way we live. They don’t care about the material world too much, that is pretty much the thing i liked the most. It seems that they are truely happy with their life, for sure not all of them, but most i saw. You can tell by the look in their eyes.

What similarities did you find?

Unfortunately they are starting to love fast food as much as we did when it hit europe :-)

You travelled from remote areas to villages and towns, what was your favorite place?

Deep in the jungle was my favourite spot, on the tracks of Mayan culture.

What were people’s reactions to your analogue camera?

Real different. Some wanted to get photographed, some acted like they had never seen a camera before and some just wanted to get the camera and make their own pictures.

Anything else you want to tell us about Guatemala?

If you get the chance to visit that country – GO for it!! It is worth it.

written by gabysalas on 2012-08-20 in #world #locations #ucon #guatemala #streets-and-people

More Interesting Articles

  • Petzval Artist :Kris Maccotta and the Petzval in Sicily

    written by shibuya on 2014-12-01 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist :Kris Maccotta and the Petzval in Sicily

    Kris Maccotta travels and chooses his destinations according to his mood. This time he went to Sicily, and in very good company: the new Petzval Lens!. He shares his insight, and the photos he took in this exclusive feature.

  • Guess That Tag! Rumble: A Day with Diana F+

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-05-20 in #competitions
    Guess That Tag! Rumble: A Day with Diana F+

    A day exploring brand new sights and scenes with the queen of retro, the Diana F+, shouldn't be so bad. Just don't be surprised if some people won't take their eyes off of your pretty little date.

    22
  • To Russia with Love (Part 3)

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-03 in #world #lifestyle #locations
    To Russia with Love (Part 3)

    In the third and final installment of his Russian love story, Herr Willie recalls some of the most memorable experiences from his trips to post-Soviet Russia, including traveling aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway and shooting with the La Sardina for Lomography on assignment, and waxes nostalgic about all the amazing people he had met.

    6
  • Shop News

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Build vivid hanging LomoCurtains, robust free-standing LomoCastles, and dazzling mounted LomoMosaics! Just click them together with the Lomography Photoclips!

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Dale McCready

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-18 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Dale McCready

    Dale McCready is a cinematographer working in the film/ TV industry and has worked on programmes such as Doctor Who and Merlin. He was one of our supporters for the Petzval Kickstarter campaign and recently used the lens to film for a new BBC drama, which is due out in March. Dale kindly shared some of his Petzval photographs with us and talked about his love for this lens. Read on for the full interview.

  • A Chat with the Founder of STENOFLEX, Eric Marais

    written by jacobs on 2015-03-04 in #people #lifestyle
    A Chat with the Founder of STENOFLEX, Eric Marais

    Eric Marais is the founder of the portable dark-room experience, STENOFLEX. We recently had the chance to ask him some questions and he was kind enough to answer us! Read on to find out more about his company, his interest in photography and what's next for STENOFLEX!

    1
  • Maaikel and his Weapon of Choice: Lomography Sprocket Rocket

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-08-07 in #lifestyle
    Maaikel and his Weapon of Choice: Lomography Sprocket Rocket

    The Lomography Sprocket Rocket might be a bit challenging to use but it didn't hinder maaikel from traveling and shooting various film rolls with it. In this week's installment of Weapon of Choice, he graciously shared his Sprocket Rocket story plus some amazing tips on using it.

    6
  • Shop News

    LCA-120 Film Bundle

    LCA-120 Film Bundle

    Shoot more with LC-A 120 without breaking your budget! The Phoblographer Editor’s Choice Award Winner now comes with a 120 format film at 15% off!

  • Welcome to 365 Days of Lomography!

    written by Derek Woods on 2015-02-05 in #people #lifestyle
    Welcome to 365 Days of Lomography!

    Throughout this project I will be shooting with a variety of Lomography cameras to explore how they render the world in their own unique ways, as well as some tips and tricks I learn along the way.

    2
  • 4 Years in Paradise: Living and Learning in French Polynesia

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-02-04 in #world #locations
    4 Years in Paradise: Living and Learning in French Polynesia

    People seek extraordinary experiences while traveling, but not everyone gets to have an adventure of a lifetime. When lomographer Stephane Heinz (popularly known as vicuna in the Lomography community) saw the opportunity, he took the chance to travel and live miles away from his hometown in France. He and his wife, Kathi, came back home with a luggage full of valuable experiences and life lessons. Vicuna tells us about his four-year adventure in French Polynesia in this travel special.

    24
  • December 13th Advent Offer: Take Advantage of our Festive 3 For 2 Film Deals! (Online Code: 3FOR2HOLIDAYFILM)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-13 in #news
    December 13th Advent Offer: Take Advantage of our Festive 3 For 2 Film Deals!  (Online Code: 3FOR2HOLIDAYFILM)

    Have you been waiting for a good time to load up on films for all your treasured analogue cameras? The time has come with our stunning Advent deal of the day! With our sweet film packs, we make it easy to cache away enough to last the fun and festive parties coming up. Start stashing now by heading over to our Online Shop!

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • Catching Waves with Lomo Cameras and Bastien Bonnarme

    written by lomographyfrance on 2014-07-21 in #people #lomoamigos
    Catching Waves with Lomo Cameras and Bastien Bonnarme

    Only 30 years old, French photographer Bastien Bonnarme has already documented international surf events such as the Roxy ASP Women’s Longboard Competition,the Belharra Wave, and the Nixon Surf Challenge. And as if that wasn't interesting enough, Bastien is also a lomographer! We lent Bastien some of our cameras for his trip to Kamtchatka with the Nixon Surf Challenge Team, and we're thrilled to finally showcase what he brought back from the great cold. Check out the photos and the exclusive interview after the jump.

  • Take a Trip to Paris Photo in November with Shift and Lomography!

    written by efrost on 2014-10-09 in #competitions
    Take a Trip to Paris Photo in November with Shift and Lomography!

    Are you in need of a holiday? Then we have something spectacular for you from the Shift School of Photography and Lomography. With your photos you can win a four-day trip to Paris for a long weekend full of photography including a giant Lomography package! We want to see your best work displaying your travel destinations so we know that you can turn a weekend getaway into an artistic and educational trip!

    2
  • Tales from the Trip: Gone Fishing

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-23 in #world #locations
    Tales from the Trip: Gone Fishing

    As intrepid travelers, we don't only search for an adventure or a change of scenery -- we also seek to capture fascinating moments in photographs and tell the compelling stories behind them. In this wanderlust-driven series for the Locations section, we showcase some of the most fascinating travel photos by our fellow lomographers, along with their tales from the trip.