Phantasmagoric

Hansen does for Yucatán what Adams did for Yosemite

In Laguna Niguel-based photographer Robert A. Hansen's new book, Yucatán Passages, southern Mexico is a phantasmagoric land where the barrier between the ancient and modern is nonexistent. Through crisp chiaroscuro portraits, Hansen depicts corn vendors who set up shop before baroque cathedrals, ancient Mayan ruins touched only by the weather and grazing cattle, and lush nature landscapes that make the Amazon seem like the Mojave. His accompanying prose can get purple at times—really, who out there can read "[The] artistic display of Latin courtship fitted perfectly with the hot, humid Yucatán night" without blushing?—but Hansen rightfully relegates that to a continuous sidebar, allowing pictures to fill entire glossy pages. What Ansel Adams did to Yosemite, Yucatán Passages should do for southern Mexico.

Yucatán Passages: A Photographer's Pilgrimage Through Southern Mexico by Robert A. Hansen; Laguna Wilderness Press. Softcover, 95 pages, $29.95.

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