This gentleman seemed to be eking out a living on the streets in Havana by selling roasted nuts. We couldn’t communicate but the camera and a small tip told him what I wanted.
Cock Fighting is a popular ’sport’ in Cuba and the people are quite proud of raising champion cocks. I wanted the door in the shot but I didn’t necessarily want it empty. I knew that there was somebody in the house and I knew that I had been been seen. I just waited until the man started to wonder what I was doing with my camera pointed towards his house and came to the front door. I knew what I wanted – I just had to wait for the image to come together. Trinidad, Cuba
As in the UK, many marriages happen at weekends and then all the couples seem to descend on the main squares in Havana to be photographed. This was one such couple.
There are a few shoe shines on the streets in Havana. I liked the simplicity of this shot though I worked on it a little in Photoshop to make the colours a little more pastel and to bring out a little more detail – grittiness if you like. It seems to have given the image a pen-and-ink artistic feel which I find quite pleasing.
This was the front door of a house in a back street behind the hotel in Havana. I was photographing the street scene and saw this lady approaching the security grille (as it’s hot in Havana, doors are normally left open for ventillation but intruders are kept out by these grilles). I turned my camera towards the grille just as she turned to look at me. I don’t think she was too happy to have her image taken! I was very lucky to have got both her eyes in the shot.
I saw this gentleman smoking this cigar in a small park in the centre of Trinidad. I approached him and pointed to the camera suggesting that I might want to take a photograph or two. He nodded, and so I did. The background was somewhat cluttered and so I tidied it up. The cigar was not in the plane of focus and so was soft so I dropped in another cigar from a photo of a tobacco farmer. The finishing touch was to add a little smoke courtesy of Photoshop.
Taken in Havana in 2008, I waited a while and moved into position across the street. I like the colours on the wall and the graffiti and the man was just in the right spot. I had been looking for a shot like this all week and found this on the last day of the trip.
Of course, Cuba is associated with running old American cars – well, they have no choice as after the revolution all imports from the US ceased and the Cuban people had to make their cars last. And they do make them last. In fact, few have original parts and their big gas-guzzling motors have long been replaced by more economical diesel engines. They are often used as taxis because a) the tourists like them and b) it’s possible to cram more people in and make more money on each trip.