Saturday, September 6, 2014

Laborer + Tool, San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba, Summer of 2014

At the end of our afternoon in San Antonio de los Baños we ran across this man working the fields on the side of the road. We stopped to ask for his portrait and he immediately permitted us to do so. Alejandro, himself a farmer as well, began a long conversation with this kind man. They talked the entire time while we exposed a few rolls.

He lived nearby, perhaps 100 or so meters away, and worked these fields for someone else. As he described his life to us it immediately became clear to us that he lived day to day, unable for example to purchase a new pair of boots for work. The clothes on his body in the image were the only ones suited to this line of work, he had nothing else. His job for the day was to make sure that the lines of irrigation were opened and closed at the correct times, allowing the enormous field behind him to be nourished.

This image was made at the end of our session as they were having a great conversation. He was speaking with Alejandro as this frame was exposed, knowingly ignoring the camera and allowing me to document his presence without hindrance.

We came back the next day with his portrait, and he thought that perhaps we were just showing him the images. When we thanked him for his time and started to walk away he realized that the photographs were his to keep. He was so thankful, so humble

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M2, hand held and with the beautifully available light of the island of Cuba.