Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 4 (part 1)

We spent the morning in Cienfuegos visiting with a family that formed the core of the Jewish community in that province of the Island - more on that in a later post. Then we headed back towards Havana. On the way we stopped at Finca Vigia which is the Cuban name of the Hemingway House estate. It's located in the countryside in the town of San Francisco De Paula. As we drove towards the Hemingway Museum I was fascinated with the houses, people and cars in the town. So when the group toured the museum I broke off and took a walk through one of the streets in town.

On the streets of Cienfuegos:

In the town of San Francisco De Paula, as in most of Cuba, maintaining cars is a like a full time job. Most of the 'classic' looking vehicles are a pastiche of cobbled together parts from all manor of internal combustion vehicles, including farm tractors.


This is one of the grounds keepers at the Hemingway Museum:

Motorcycles are as important as wagons and old cars as a means of transportation all across the island:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 3 (part 2)

The town of Cienfuegos is a bit more upscale than Havana. Or maybe it seemed that way because less of the infrastructure was crumbling. There's a pedestrian mall with some upbeat stores and a town square that attracts people at all times of day because it's the town's wifi hot spot.

This was the only cross-dresser in town (that I saw):

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 3 (part 1)

On the third day in Cuba my group took a bus ride to the city of Cienfuegos on the southern coast. The ride took about 3 1/2 hours through the Cuban countryside. Cienfuegos is on a beautiful bay, and has a small Jewish community (that was the focus of our visit to the city) of about 70 people. More on that in a later post.

At a pit stop along the highway:

The proud owner of a 'hybrid' vehicle, a work in progress. The old cars of Cuba are all a mishmash  of parts. The Cuban people are creative mechanics who can put a diesel tractor engine in a Buick body. With absolutely no pollution control.

I heard kids voices as I walked down a side street. Stuck my head in the window and the kids started mugging for me.

Wagons are an important means of transportation in the countryside.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 2 (part 7)

A few more from day 2. There's more good shots in my library, but I want to move on to day 3 in the next post. I've had a mixed reaction to the b/w renderings. Overall the colors were so strong that they really distracted from the substance of the image. When I get to posting the shots of the old cars, I may try them in color, but I've been encouraged to experiment with b/w processing also. All these shots were on the back streets of Old Havana. I felt safe and unintimidated walking around there. And the people were friendly and eager to try some conversation - they were fascinated to hear about New York City.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 2 (part 6 - MUSICIANS)

Havana is a city of music. Every club has a band, street musicians everywhere. They live on the tips. Some of the best music I heard during the week I was there was in the hotel's cigar bar which had a different ensemble every night.

In Old Havana the Hotel Ambos Mundos is where Hemingway took up residence before he bought his own home. This is the pianist who played in the bar on the first floor:

Typical street hustler playing tunes and posing for photos, if you gave him a tip:

 Bands like this are everywhere:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 2 (part 5)

As I work through my images and convert them to b/w, the decision to convert them from color becomes more and more obvious. I 'see' the final image as b/w, the vibrant colors on the streets of Havana are only a distraction. Except for the cars, I'll post the remaining images of the eight days in Cuba as b/w.

Everyone who travels to Cuba to photograph shoots the cars. How could I not, they're museum relics. I'll devote an entire post to them (and the motorcycles) down the road.

For today, the young:

And the old:


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 2 (part 4)

Wasn't sure how to title this  blog entry. Some new shots and some I've already posted - but as color images. After reviewing with one of my photography instructors the work I did for the first three days
I decided that most of the shots would look best as b/w images.

Yes, Cuba is filled with color. The cars are all colorful, and I took a lot of car photos even though I had it in mind not to. Colorful car photos taken in Havana are all over the internet but my style of shooting - to try to capture some kind of story in the image - works best as b/w. The color distracts from the focus of the image. So I re-did some images I've already posted, and I plan to do more of the same. Here's the first batch. The first one I've already posted in color.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 2 (part 3)

Color is impressive in Cuba, but I still love b/w processing. I 'see' best in b/w - compose and expose my images with b/w intentions. So here's a set of ........ (wait for it!) ........ B/W:

Live in Havana is relaxed:

Doesn't matter where in the world you are, some things never change:

 And I still get 'the look' when I do street photography:

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 2 (part 2)

More color shots. They each speak for themselves.