I just returned from Cuba last night and my mind is still reeling.
What an amazing place and the people were extraordinary. The resilience, the ingenuity, the kindness and the laughter in the face of significant hardship was an inspiration.
The trip was made all the better by the luck of the draw, meaning the other guests I was traveling with on this Santa Fe Photographic Workshops adventure were a lot of fun. You can’t always count on that and I feel lucky that our group was so in sync.
Pro photographer Jennifer Spelman was an enthusiastic and thoughtful leader, providing the group with some great insight as how we might approach the city and the locals photographically. We also had the benefit of three very talented Cuban photographers, Jorge, Eduardo and Pepe, (more about them later) who worked with us everyday showing us their Havana and the nearby towns of Bejucal, Casablanca and Cojimar, through their eyes and lenses.
I’ve got a lot to share but need to get my thoughts in order and my pics edited. However, I did want to leave you with the above image. An iconic—and admittedly often shot—perspective I couldn’t help but indulge in.
I took it on our second day across from the nation’s capital in Havana near our hotel (The Parque Central) after a long rain. The wet pavement reflected the rainbow hues of the buildings and the myriad of antique cars driving past begged for a panning shot.
I’m really going to miss those old cars. They made traffic a visual delight with their sassy silhouettes and bright colors. It’s amazing their still running. Cuban mechanics are incredibly industrious and as my new friend Donna Aceto quipped as we walked about, “They can take a clothes hanger and turn it into a carburetor.”
She wasn’t kidding.