On our first full day in Cuba, we walked the streets of Havana with our local photographer Orlando Garcia. We, newcomers, didn’t walk very fast as it took us some time to take in this new city. But Orlando was all over the place helping us to communicate with the locals and, at the same time, scouting for other locations. At one point, he lead us into a big building, walked up a flight of stairs and then entered the home of the lady pictured below. She lives in a very small apartment with little light. So photographing her was a challenge. But she moved forward and entered into a cone of light coming from the entrance and I was able to get a shot.
The whole day was spent this way: we walked the streets, entered houses and inner courts, and allowed the city to reveal itself to us. And what a city it is with its rich history and wonderful characters. For instance, as we entered a courtyard, there was this lady below, carrying and caressing a small chick.
On the other side of the courtyard, a door led into this old man’s apartment. This image is one of my favorites from the entire trip. I love his pose and expression, the old television and the colors of the wall and the screen complementing each other. Everything just belongs together.
Later that day we visited another lady in her quarters. She had been very sick but was recovering well now. Still, she was refusing to leave her bed, her grand-daughter told us. It was great to see her light up when one of our female photographers from Puerto Rico entered the room and started talking with her in Spanish.
I want to finish this post pointing out that not everyone we met was old and with a face showing a lifetime of experience and struggle for survival. The city is also full of youth.
As I walked by this gate, the kid caught my attention. He really wanted to communicate with me. Too bad that I don’t speak Spanish. But he was happy to pose for me to take this picture.
It was a great pleasure to walk the streets of old Havana and discover some of its hidden treasures.
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