Friday, May 17, 2013

La Cantante, La Habana, Cuba, Morning of July 11, 2012


On the morning of July 11, 2012 we met on the rooftop of my friend's apartment and made the portrait above. She walked over with her parents as we were also photographing another young woman from my past. They were a bit late and the sun had risen. We worked for a little more but found the sunlight to be almost too strong for the girls.

We then decided to pull out the diffuser and use it for the first time on the island. It worked wonderfully and transformed the direct light into a large, translucent surface strong enough to form shadows but weak enough to allow the girls to hold their eyes open and form the expressions desired by them for their portraits. With the change of exposure, the sky disappeared as expected and provided the white background as in many of my images.

She wore the most beautiful necklace, which added a range of tones to the images. Her parents sat on chairs and under a certain amount of shade to her left, near the entrance to the rooftop. Throughout all of my time with this young girl her parents have always been there to share their support. 

Whether to lend their creativity during a photography session or to accompany her voice on a keyboard, these are the most dedicated of parents. Her father is a fine man, delicate with his manners and deeply heartfelt through his understanding of music. Her mother is a strong woman and will share her knowledge of the voice in a firm yet kind manner. She rarely sings for us but when she does one can tell that the advice she shares with her daughter has musical roots certainly within her as well.

I look forward to visiting this family once again this summer and to finding a quieter place to record her voice. We talked about a church last year, perhaps a house further away from the city. I will call her family before arriving and hope that this place can be found in time for the trip. 

In the video below she and her father perform in their own home, while the neighbors do the best that they can do in terms of noise. Perhaps the sound of the street is as essential in the recording as her voice, maybe years from now I will appreciate it more so. Her voice and her father's accompaniment have brought nothing but joy and appreciation to me since this recording was made, and have been heard around the world through their circle of friends and family as well. 

All of the recordings have been provided to them in real time and they have done their best to let her voice be heard outside of the island. I sincerely hope that this is the case and the world can come to appreciate this young woman more so.

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Halim Ina Photography