Rosa’s Cantina – El Paso

My wife, Liz, had a business trip to El Paso, Texas. I tagged along. I wanted to see the legendary Rosa’s Cantina of Marty Robbins Fame.

Feature Image Details

The image, no matter what you think of it, looks far, far better than the place itself. It’s pretty much a dive.

The shot itself was a very lucky one.

I was attempting to balance the inside lights with flash and was playing around with various exposures on two-second time delay.  The couple in the image is not posed.

In one of my test frames, the woman in this picture reached out to her man just as the shutter triggered.

I had the flash on 1/4 power. The focus was such that the couple and the bar were in focus. There is motion blur in some of the people due to the one-second exposure, but not on the featured couple, names unknown.

Rosa’s Cantina

“El Paso” is a country and western ballad written and originally recorded by Marty Robbins, and first released on Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs in September 1959. It was released as a single the following month, and became a major hit on both the country and pop music charts, reaching number one in both at the start of 1960. It won the Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording in 1961, and remains Robbins’ best-known song. It is widely considered a genre classic for its gripping narrative which ends in the death of its protagonist, its shift from past to present tense, haunting harmonies by vocalists Bobby Sykes and Jim Glaser (of the Glaser Brothers) and the eloquent and varied Spanish guitar accompaniment by Grady Martin that lends the recording a distinctive Tex-Mex feel. The name of the character Feleena was based upon a schoolmate of Robbins in the fifth grade—Fidelina Martinez. Members of the Western Writers of America chose El Paso as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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