Sunday, February 15, 2015

Guajiro + Blade, Countryside, Cuba, 2014



As we went further into the countryside we found more and more chances to mingle with the farmers and the workers. Having such a chance here would  be near impossible, with everyone so busy and focused on their routine.

Now of course these men are also focused on their routine, but on the island it just seems different. For example, when we chanced upon this charcoal farm and drove up to the workers, they looked at us with curiosity and open minds. Here was this stranger walking around the property with his camera, and rather than asking me to leave, they asked about the work and were even open to being photographed in between their tasks.

So when it came time to photograph this exquisite man, the sun was high and we chose to make more abstract images. He accepted this vision without hesitation, and helped me create images reminiscent of the images made during the Soviet era, placing the worker on a pedestal photographically speaking.

In one image, he raised his hand with blade to the sky and made me pause while exposing the negative.

Cuba is an incredible place, where ballerinas and campesinos are on equal footing in my work. I cannot wait to return in four months, and go much further into the countryside. In the mornings we will take ballerinas to the beach, have a meal with the families and then head out for an afternoon of photography with the guajiros!

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Note: These images were made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination onto Fuji Neopan Acros 100 ISO film.