Saturday, January 16, 2016

Campesino + Machete, Matanzas, Cuba, 2014



This year especially Alejandro and I will be heading out into the countryside, certainly to put as much space between us and the wave of tourists certain to flood the capital this summer. We will however search for that timeless face of the island, more prevalent in the countryside than anywhere else.

Driving into the countryside with Alejandro is so rewarding. We chat the entire time, we stop whenever we like for something to eat, we drive up dead-end paths looking for that illusive face and meet workers on the sides of the roads all of the time.

This was the case when we met this man, as we were heading deep into Matanzas. Alejandro noticed a coal farm to our left and we decided to enter. The men were working at the time, and directed us to the boss for permission. The boss happened to be a woman, and after a few minutes of conversation she allowed me to photograph the men.

The sun was high, so we decided to make abstract portraits and images rather than the directly lit portraits. These two images were the result of the encounter, and have taught me much about using whatever light is available to tell the story.

The man was great, and allowed me to both make his portrait and his hand up in the air with perhaps the most iconic symbol of the countryside on the island. Whenever a Cuban seems these images, the first thing they say is 'Cuban!'



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