SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, Mexico >> If ever there were a town that lived on its good looks, stately San Miguel de Allende is it. And if ever there were a time when American travelers were obsessed with pretty pictures, this is it.
So when I showed up here in the mountains about 170 miles northwest of Mexico City, I assigned myself a mission to match the time and place. Instead of just looking at the colonial structures and cobblestone streets that have made San Miguel Instagram-ready since the 18th century, I would enlist local experts to help me take better photos.
Along the way, I would see how the city is bearing up amid a burst of new hotels and restaurants in the last few years. At what point does a drowsy, intimate city become a stage set? Is it too late to ask the question, if readers of Travel & Leisure have voted San Miguel their favorite city in the world? That happened in 2017 and 2018.PUBLICIDAD
I arrived in September with a digital single-lens reflex camera (Nikon D7500), a GoPro, a smartphone and an appointment with Javier Barras, who has been teaching photography in San Miguel for several years. Before long, I was gasping.
Too much beauty? Too much change? Too much trouble juggling shutter speed, F-stop and ISO settings? Maybe all three. Then again, San Miguel is about 6,100 feet above sea level. You walk uphill, gasping happens.
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