Saturday, September 6, 2014

Laborers, Charcoal Farm, Matanzas, Cuba, Summer of 2014


One early morning we arrived to collect a family for photography and found the lights still out, triggering the sound of worry from Alejandro. He just knew that they were still asleep and that the sun would be coming out soon. He picked up the phone and dialed their number, resulting in a sleepy mother apologizing for the miscommunication.

He then looked at me and asked: what now?

Perhaps he was thinking that we'd just drive around town a bit then head to lunch early. I looked at Alejandro and asked if we could drive to Matanzas for the day, looking for individuals along the way. He was surprised at first, and slowly agreed to the plan.

So we started our way out of the city and almost immediately began to find individuals as the sun appeared over the horizon. First it was a farmer walking down the highway, allowing us to photograph him for ten or so minutes. Then Alejandro's eyes caught glimpse of a charcoal farm to our left and pulled right in. We saw these men sitting in front of a shack and asked their permission to photograph the space.

I stepped out and began making pictures of the mountains of charcoal, then the mountains of wood piled up so neatly. The men were taking a break from the work when we arrived, so we talked a bit. As was my plan, I appeared like the hapless tourist making images of the surroundings that then finds interest in the workers themselves. It seemed to work and they then allowed me to make abstract images of them, from below and with them holding various tools from the shed. Every time an individual was in front of the lens, the others poked gentle fun at him… it was truly a fun time.

This image was made with the digital camera as we packed up our bags, thinking that they would like a memory of our time together. Alejandro more than likely delivered the pictures to them this past week, and I hope that they enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed making them.

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M2 with available light.

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