Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Yaniuska + Columnas, La Habana, Cuba, 2018


Ella ha cambiado mucho a lo largo de los años, pero su talento expresivo se ha mantenido magnífico. Hemos documentado esta hermosa bailarina durante los últimos cinco años o así, y cada vez que se mueve de una posición a otra con una ferocidad.

Ayer tuve la oportunidad una vez más de fotografiarla, y lo hicimos en la ciudad por primera vez. Se ha convertido en una hermosa joven y me enorgulleció con su disposición a ser fotografiada. Ella vino con su madre, y caminamos por la ciudad buscando lugares.

La ciudad, por supuesto, es un lugar mágico para la luz y las sombras, perfecto para su talento. Usamos la primera hora de luz solar hermosa y tuvimos la suerte de tenerla. Espero ver las imágenes cuando se procesa la película, y volver el próximo año para hacerlo aún mejor para ella y su familia.

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She has changed much over the years, but her talent at expression has remained magnificent. We have documented this beautiful dancer for the past five or so years, and every time she moves from one position to another with a fiercness.

Yesterday I had the chance once again to photograph her, and we did so in the city for the first time. She has grown into a beautiful young woman, and made me proud with her willingness to be photographed. She came with her mother, and we walked around the city looking for spots.

The city of course is a magical place for light and shadows, perfect for her talent. We used the first hour of beautiful sunlight and were lucky enough to have it. I look forward to seeing the images when the film is processed, and to coming back next year to do even better for her and her family!


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Note: This image was made with a Fuji XT-2.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Anays y Suley, El Campo, Cuba, 2018


Como siempre Anays y Suley trabajaron juntos, y me ayudaron hacer fotos magnificas en el campo el mes pasado. Fuimos a un pueblo con un casa de madera bella, con una iglesia también. La mañana fue fácil gracias a las dos... y ojalá tenemos otra sesión en 2019!



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Note: This image was made with a Fuji XT-2.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Anays + Iberodance, Havana, Cuba, 2018


This past summer in Cuba was filled with dance, as in this image with Anays Diz Pe and her magnificent troupe. Over the next few weeks more images of dance will be shared. On this afternoon we gathered at this walkway in Havana to make some images for the company. We had a great time, and they came together quickly as this ship passed by on its way out of the harbor!


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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Young Girl + Hand of Mother, Rama, Nicaragua, December of 2017


45 years after we lost our home to an earthquake I returned to my birthplace of Nicaragua. The experience of walking in the footsteps of my parents cannot be described fully, for my mind still needs to process the events of last December.

One thing is for sure, the people of Nicaragua treated me like a prince, like one of their own. Thanks to my cousins Victor and Carlos, it felt just like home. Their homes were my homes, their hospitality was as generous as any in my travels. Certainly this was a reflection of our culture, of their respect for my parents... but it was so much more, and I may begin to understand more so when we meet once again this December.

Then there were those we met on the road, such as this girl and her mother, on our way to the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. We never did reach the coast, but this neighborhood of Rama was as kind as we could have imagined. The people were so generous with their kindness, and allowed us to have a morning session which resulted in this portrait.

These beautiful people work hard day in and day out, and their lives are anything but easy. Their entire neighborhood was built on the outskirts of the town without planning nor distribution of basic services from the municipal government. Yet they endure and do their best for the sake of their children.

Their homes are as basic as can be, wooden walls with dirt floors. There are times when the making of a portrait makes me pause, such was this young girl's as well. I look forward to returning in December and going deeper into this family's history, as well as the relationships formed during my first visit in over 45 years.


Instagram

Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW/100 mm C lens combination.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Young Student in Madrasa, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018


We visited her school at least four times this year to attempt a documentation of the entire school. It is but a few minutes away from Nirvanavan Foundation's newest school, and we hope to include it in our efforts as the work develops.

Many of her friends remembered us from last year, and smiled as we walked through the classes trying to organize the photography. The brick wall behind her was the same brick that was used for last year's portraits, and this may be the last year that the bricks will be visible since cement was being placed on the walls as these images were made.

We selected one class at a time, with two classed being too large for one session alone. So we returned several times to include everyone, and the headmaster was more than willing to allow us the necessary time to make everyone's portrait.

She and her friends amazed me in that they were able to keep their eyes open even in the bright sunlight, and while standing in a very public space. Their composure in such a setting impressed me deeply.

It is their ability to look into the lens which makes these portraits so powerful to me. The fact is that very few of them have been photographed before these sessions, certainly out in the open while classmates and villagers witness the magnificent spectacle.



Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Elder, Rama, Nicaragua, December of 2017


45 years after we lost our home to an earthquake I returned to my birthplace of Nicaragua. The experience of walking in the footsteps of my parents cannot be described fully, for my mind still needs to process the events of last December.

One thing is for sure, the people of Nicaragua treated me like a prince, like one of their own. Thanks to my cousins Victor and Carlos, it felt just like home. Their homes were my homes, their hospitality was as generous as any in my travels. Certainly this was a reflection of our culture, of their respect for my parents... but it was so much more, and I may begin to understand more so when we meet once again this December.

Then there were those we met on the road, such as this man on our way to the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. We never did reach the coast, but this neighborhood of Rama was as kind as we could have imagined. The people were so generous with their kindness, and allowed us to have a morning session which resulted in this portrait.

These beautiful people work hard day in and day out, and their lives are anything but easy. Their entire neighborhood was built on the outskirts of the town without planning nor distribution of basic services from the municipal government. Yet they endure and do their best for the sake of their children.

His home is as basic as can be, wooden walls with a dirt floor. He has slept in the same bed for decades and his mosquito net does what it can to protect him on those long, hot nights. He lived alone and worked from sunrise to sunset just to have enough to eat. There are times when the making of a portrait makes me pause, such was his.

I look forward to returning in December and going deeper into this man's history, as well as the relationships formed during my first visit in over 4 decades.


Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW/100 mm C lens combination.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Anays + El Campo, Campo Florido, Cuba, 2017


El año pasado tuve el honor una vez más de documentar los talentos indescriptibles de Anays Diz Pe, con la ayuda de mis queridos hermanos Alejandro Peña Gutiérrez y Arley. ¡Saber que estas tres personas me estarán esperando en dos semanas es suficiente, sabiendo que están esperando repetir tal sesión, estas dos semanas pasarán aún más rápido!

En el Oldsmobile de 1951 de Arley, volveremos al campo una vez más en busca de esos espacios, escenarios en los que Anays pueda actuar. Hay muy pocos en mi trabajo que puedan hacerlo, y que pueden hacerlo de una manera tan efímera. Le pedimos permiso al propietario de esta casa, le informamos a Anays que todo está listo y la vimos hacer suya esta casa.

Ella nació para ser fotografiada y para ser escuchada. Por mi parte, la escucho perfectamente y, junto con Alejandro Peña Gutiérrez, estaremos listos con nuestras cámaras para sus actuaciones de este verano.

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Last year I had the honor once again to document the indescribable talents of Anays, with the help of my dearest brothers Alejandro and Arley. Knowing that these three people will be waiting for me in two weeks is enough, knowing that they are waiting to repeat such a session will make these two weeks pass by even more quickly!

In Arley's 1951 Oldsmobile we will head out to the countryside once again in search of such homes, stages for Anays to perform. There are very few in my work who are able to do so, and who can do so in such an efforltess manner. We asked the owner of this home for permission, let Anays know that all is ready, and watched her make this home her own.

She was born to be photographed, and to be heard. I for one hear her perfectly and, along with Alejandro, will be ready with our cameras for her performances this summer.



Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW/60 mm combination and scanned for preview purposes only through the negative sleeve.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Syrian Girl + Garden, Zahle, Lebanon, 2017


She is as striking as her predecessors in her camp, as beautiful as any other in this world. Her homeland is in distress, and her life in Lebanon is anything but stable. Yet she does what she can to help her family, and endures with such grace.

On my second day to her camp she was helping her mother with the purchase of some vegetables from a visiting truck. She caught my attention right away, but her presence was missing as we had our first session.

As the third day arrived it seemed that she would never come, and then she approached us with a smile. She might have seen the photographs in her friends' hands from the day before, or just the commotion from the photography. Regardless she allowed me to make her portrait twice, in the shade and in direct sunlight.

She was silent the entire time, but spoke volumes through her expressions. My hope is that this portrait does justice to her spirit, and that she allows me once again to make her portrait tomorrow.



Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Young Girl + Tree, Granada, Nicaragua, 2017


This beautiful city was also a place my father had traveled to in order to find customers for his textiles. When we arrived I immediately fell in love with it, and the people living on the outskirts of the small city.

From the small burrito store in the center of town to the grand square, the food was beyond tasty. My mind kept thinking if my father had walked these same streets, if he sat in the same square for lunch.

When we arrived we drove around the rim of the lake looking for communities to document. We found a young family earlier, and photographed them in front of the home which they tend for the owners. The family told us that there were many families a kilometer or so up the road, and so we pushed onward to the local school in search.

That is when we noticed a girl with the most incredible hair, the older sister to the one in this frame. Immediately we stopped and walked over to say hello. The family was so receptive, a preview of how we were to be treated in our travels throughout Nicaragua. They were so warm and spoke with us in such an honest, kind manner.

We spoke at length about their lives, how they work well before sunrise and do so in the muddy waters nearby. They do so just to be able to feed their children, and live a most humble life. They live without running water, proper electricity, medical care, bathrooms... while their meals come on a day to day basis.

This was in extreme contrast to the town square which was less than a fifteen minute drive, and of course to communities where all of the above is commonplace. Such is this young girl's life, such is the reality she faces daily.

Yet they treated us as equals, invited us back the very next day and embraced as as family. The people of Nicaragua are beyond comparison, and I for one am proud to call myself a Nica.


Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW/100 mm combination.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Nica + La Bicicleta, El Campo, Nicaragua, 2017


En esta mañana fuimos a buscar una comunidad y paramos para fotografiar esta finca. Hablamos con el propietario y él nos dio su permiso. Cuando estábamos preparando la cámara, este increíble hombre se detuvo para conversar con nosotros.

Tenía más de setenta años y aún tenía la energía de un hombre con la mitad de su edad. Todos los días iba en su bicicleta a la carretera principal en busca de comestibles, y todos los días estaba levantado antes del amanecer para trabajar en su finca.

Al principio era un poco tímido, pero luego, por supuesto, le pedí su retrato. Él estuvo de acuerdo con una sonrisa, y se quedó justo en el mismo lugar para esta imagen. El sol salió durante unos minutos y tuvimos la suerte de tener luz ideal. Cuando terminamos, nos invitó a su pueblo a fotografiar a otras familias, y aceptamos su invitación al día siguiente.

La gente de Nicaragua es amable y tiene la forma más bella de aceptar visitantes. Tengo muchas ganas de visitar su pueblo una vez más y de hacer verdaderos retratos de su comunidad.

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On this morning we went to look for a community, and had stopped to photograph this farm. We spoke with the owner and he gave us his permission. As we were setting up the camera this incredible man stopped to have a conversation with us.

He was well into his seventies yet had the energy of a man half his age. Every day he rode his bicycle to the main road for groceries, and every day he was up well before sunrise to work his farm.

I was a little shy at first, but then of course asked him for his portrait. He agreed with a smile, and stood right in the same spot for this image. The sun had come up for a few minutes and we were lucky enough to have ideal light. After we were finished he invited us to his village to photograph other families, and we accepted his invitation the very next day.

The people of Nicaragua are kind, and have the most beautiful way of accepting visitors. I look forward to visiting his village once again, and to truly making portraits of his community.



Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW and a 100 mm C lens.