Monday, December 31, 2018

Anays y Construcción, La Habana, Cuba, 2018


Ya sea que estemos en la playa o en el campo o dentro de la ciudad, ella siempre encuentra la manera de expresarse con mayor naturalidad. En esta ocasión, caminamos por la ciudad buscando lugares y encontramos este lugar.

La verdad es que nos informaron sobre un lugar más allá de este, pero nos decepcionó cuando llegamos. Así que en nuestro camino de regreso la luz se veía fabulosa y decidimos parar. La fotografía se trata de la luz por supuesto.

Esto es lo que hace que trabajar con Anays sea tan mágico. Ella entiende cuando nos detenemos y de inmediato se prepara. Fotografiamos hasta que la luz desapareció de su rostro, luego caminamos hacia el auto para ir a casa.

Esta noche la pasé escaneando negativos de mis primeros dos días en Cuba el verano pasado, y ya se han escaneado al menos 100 negativos. Esto es solo uno ... podemos imaginarnos del resto!

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Whether we are at the beach or in the countryside or within the city, she always finds a way to express herself most naturally. On this occasion we walked around the city looking for locations and found this spot across the street.

The truth is that we were told about a spot just beyond this one but were disappointed when we arrived. So on our way back the light looked fabulous and so we decided to stop. Photography is about the light of course.

This is what makes working with Anays so magical. She understands when we stop and immediately prepares herself. We photographed for until the light disappeared from her face, then walked to the car to go home.

This evening was spent scanning negatives from my first two days in Cuba this past summer, and at least 100 frames have been scanned already. This is only one... can we imagine about the rest!


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Note: this image was made with a Hasselblad 501 CM/180 mm lens combination.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Woman + White Wall, Kisumu, Kenya, 2007


We arrive at a white building near the school. As with the other days, the good people of the foundation advise me that we will wait a few minutes and the people will begin arriving. Maybe one minute goes by and the people are already coming.

A few men from the good works projects arrive first. These are older men that were perhaps doing little before meeting the foundation and are now involved in public works projects and environmental improvement initiatives. They pose first and we make their portraits while the sun is still a bit strong.

Then the older men and women come along. Samuel from MACODEF arranges himself to note their names down and one by one they stand in a line. At any one time, there are perhaps thirty people waiting patiently. 


The sun is strong and the temperature high. Nonetheless, everyone waits their turn and gives me a minute in front of the camera. They appreciate even this one minute and sacrifice an hour of their time to do so, maybe even more. Their appreciation is deeply moving, and my hope is that their portraits do honor to their collective spirit.

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Note: this image was made with a Hasselblad 501 CM/180 mm lens combination.

Best Friends + Madrasa, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018


After our photography these days we include a spontaneous session as well, inviting the girls to let loose truly and be with their best friends. In contrast to the single, formal portraits... the variation in these images has been most enlightening. It is a way for these girls to be themselves, to have fun with poses and gestures. They are truly having a blast, and cannot help themselves!

Over and over again they ask for the opportunity to try something different, and when two see what another two have done... they want to do better. It is wonderful to see, the smiles are infectious!

The begin to hold hands, to hug each other, to show their affections without worry. The reactions are marvelous to witness.

The excitement is in the air as this madrasa prepares to include a fuller curriculum, and the students can feel it. These girls share their smiles with us, with those of us especially who have come forward to take part in this effort. On behalf of these girls I share my personal gratitude.


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Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Students + Friends, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2017


The last week of this year is a great opportunity to make a difference in the world, and to receive a tax deduction as well. Anyone interested in joining us will also be matched 1:1, making that difference more incredible.

In two months I will be standing in this very spot, as well in adjacent villages and madrasas, in order to gain further understanding of the need and to help implement the educational program desired by the community. The result so far has been very encouraging, and we have begun the implementation. We have gained the support of the community, began the process of putting together at least three sewing centers, and are working towards our first model, village school in the region.

These girls live in the village which will host the model school, and have sensed that something is happening. The energy is palpable, and their excitement has come through their portraits. It has been my honor to bring this proposal to this circle, and I look forward to sharing more news as it develops.


Website
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Dos + Plaza, La Habana, Cuba, 2018


Mucha gente me pregunta, '¿por qué Cuba es especial para tu fotografía?' Para mí la respuesta es simple, es la voluntad de la gente para crear sin dudar. Si bien esto parece un poco simplista, uno debe intentar hacerlo en cualquier parte del mundo antes de pensar así.

En esta imagen hay dos personas que eran una semana antes desconocidas para mí. Estábamos haciendo un video para ayudar a Anays y su compañía, y antes de pasar a la siguiente plaza, les pedí a algunos de los bailarines algunos momentos de fotografía. Sin lugar a dudas, se hicieron una docena de exposiciones ... y esta fue una.

Me encanta cada lugar que visito y comparto una razón solo para mis visitas a Cuba. ¡Son las personas, más que los edificios o las playas, quienes continúan inspirándome!

Nota: esta imagen es solo un escaneo aproximado ... ¡los escaneados más finos se compartirán pronto!

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Many people ask me, 'why is Cuba special to your photography?' For me the answer is simple, it is the willingness of the people to create without hesitation. While this seems a bit simplistic, one should try to do so anywhere in the world before thinking so.

In this image are two people who were but a week earlier strangers to me. We were making a video in order to help Anays and her company, and before moving to the next square I asked a few of the dancers for a few moments of photography. Without a second's doubt a dozen exposures were made... with this being one.

I love every place I visit, and am sharing one reason only for my visits to Cuba. It is the people, rather than the buildings or the beaches, who continue to inspire me!

Note: this image is only a rough scan... the finer scans will be shared soon!


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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Imdad + Students, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018


Our friend Imdadulla Nadvi just sent some photographs of the school, and the students of course. It is inspirational to see such work coming along so well... hope this inspires more to join us!

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Note: This image was sent to us by Imdadulla.

Friday, December 21, 2018

El Rapido + Campo Florido, Cuba, 2018

Si alguien está interesado en los mejores bocadillos fuera de la ciudad, en el campo, este es el lugar para ir. La pareja siempre nos saluda con sonrisas, y su pan es fresco. Aquí los bocadillos son deliciosos, y el servicio rápido. El pueblo está hermosamente tranquilo, ya que generalmente nos detenemos aquí después de una mañana de fotografía en nuestro camino de regreso a La Habana. Incluso tienen mi sándwich favorito, pan con timba! Esta es mi tercera noche de escanear el trabajo del verano en Cuba, ¡y cada rollo se siente como la víspera de Navidad!

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If anyone is interested in the best sandwiches outside of the city, in the countryside, this is the spot to go. The couple always greets us with smiles, and their bread is fresh. Here the sandwiches is delicious, and the service quick. The town is beautifully quiet, as we usually stop here after a morning of photography on our way back to Havana. They even have my favorite sandwich, pan con timba! This is my third night of scanning the work from the summer in Cuba, and every roll feels like Christmas Eve!


Website

Note: This image was exposed with a Hasselblad 503 CW/100 mm lens.

Anays + Staircase, La Habana, Cuba, 2018


Finalmente me siento a escanear los rollos del verano pasado en Cuba. Por supuesto, el primero incluido en las exploraciones es Anays, y en esta imagen caminamos con ella por las calles de La Habana. ¡Las imágenes son increíblemente hermosas y durante las próximas semanas mis amables amigos en Cuba verán los resultados de nuestras colaboraciones en blanco y negro! 

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Note: This image was exposed with a Hasselblad 503 CW/100 mm lens.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Students + Friends, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2017


Last night I had a wonderful conversation with a dear friend, and this has given me immense energy going forward. The last two weeks of this year are a great opportunity to make a difference in the world, and to receive a tax deduction as well. Anyone interested in joining us will also be matched 1:1, making that difference that muchmore incredible.

In two months I will be standing in this very spot, as well in adjacent villages and madrasas, in order to gain further understanding of the need and to help implement the educational program desired by the community. The result so far has been very encouraging, and we have begun the implementation. We have gained the support of the community, began the process of putting together at least three sewing centers, and are working towards our first model, village school in the region.

These girls live in the village which will host the model school, and have sensed that something is happening. The energy is palpable, and their excitement has come through their portraits. It has been my honor to bring this proposal to this circle, and I look forward to sharing more news as it develops.


Website
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Woman + Field, Kisumu, Kenya, 2006


In light of the testimonials being shared most recently through 'me too,' this portrait of a mother is being shared. It was an honor to have heard her story, and a privilege to present it here.

A dozen years ago a connection was made to visit communities in western Kenya. The foundation asked me, "how many people would you like to photograph?" In my nativity, the answer was "as many as possible."

Upon landing, we immediately headed out to photograph a church and a congregation. It was clear to me that we would never run out of people to photograph. We would sometimes arrive at a school, and the teachers would have all of the students line up... well over three hundred students a few times.

So when I was told that we were going to visit a small home, I let out a sigh of relief. Then I was told that we would be visiting with a support group for individuals with HIV/AIDS. This weighed heavily on me, for my mind was on making sure the work lived up to the people being photographed.

When we arrived everyone welcomed us with such warmth, such kindness, that all anxiety melted away. There were perhaps two dozen people in the house. After introductions were made, each person courageously shared their story with us. While the people from the foundation did their best to translate, the tones of the voices as well as the expressions on their faces spoke volumes.

Each spoke while absolute silence prevailed, telling the stories of how they had been affected, of how their husbands had strayed from their marriages and brought the virus back into their beds. It was a deeply moving moment, and left me without words. Perhaps more than the stories, it was how they had told them that struck me. It was as if they had forgiven their husbands, and accepted the cards that they had been dealt. The strength in their presentations was supremely clear, a testament to their intact spirits.

All of this was happening as their children sat at their feet, a visual which stays with me to this day. My eyes moved from the mothers to their children as each spoke, and noticed the bond between them. This I will never forget.


Website

Note: This frame was made with a Nikon F100.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Film Processed, Summer in Cuba, 2018


The film in these bags after my time in Cuba this summer has been processed and is on my table tonight. The next task is to scan the rolls for proofs over the next few weeks, and begin the new year in a most positive way!

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Final Print + Fixer, Darkroom, States, 2018


Here she is once again, representing her community of girls in the new school. This is her image, just printed in the darkroom. We hope she inspires those able enough to give, as she has inspired our team on the ground in her village! 

As the new year approaches would my friends be interested in supporting women empowering themselves through these sewing centers? For those of you who have shared your interest in my posts, here is a chance for us to come together and truly make a difference in the lives of these girls.

We have set up five centers with a dozen young women in each, learning sewing in order to better themselves and the circumstances of their families.

We welcome all, from financial help to connections with schools in need of uniforms for example. One would be surprised what we could do with a united approach!


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Nathalie + Spanish Embassy, Havana, Cuba, 2018


Aquí estoy junto a los rollos procesados de este verano en Cuba. ¡Con solo haber visto todos los rollos, a mi mente le costará mucho asentirse esta noche! Las imágenes son más de lo que podría haber pedido realmente. En esta imagen, Nathalie actúa frente a la embajada española en La Habana, Cuba.

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Anays + Staircase, La Habana, Cuba, 2018


Here I am sitting next to the processed film from this summer in Cuba. Having just looked through a third of the film my mind will have a hard time nodding off tonight! The images are more than I could have asked for really. In this frame @anaysdizpe performs in front of a staircase next to the harbor, off the beaten path!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Temple in the Field, Rajasthan, India, 2018


For those of us supporting this work in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, I certainly hope that one day you can visit this beautiful land. From temples in fields to glorious wheat spreading to the horizon, it is a sublime landscape in which the schools are being established.

Most of my work is portraiture, yet every day an attempt is made to include the environment. On this day I decided to take a walk to the village and passed by this familiar site. I had passed it on countless occasions yet never made the time to photograph it.

A couple of young men saw me walking and joined me, a common occurrence when walking around with a camera. They asked me a few questions, then realized my lack of understanding, and after a few minutes decided to be on their way. This image was made as they were asking questions, and they looked into the viewfinder to see what was being photographed before taking off.


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Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503 CW/100 mm lens combination.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Munshad + Children, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018


We are well on our way to fully funding the schools for 2019, and embrace all who are interested in joining.

We have one large school in Uttar Pradesh with nearly 100 girls in attendance, and two schools in Rajasthan with 50 young girls. In all we also have 5 sewing centers for nearly 80 young women.

This is real change all of us can support, and witness on our mutual FB feed through these images. Here is my dear brother Ch Munshad Ali Chauhan with the children from one of the villages... just look at the joy in the children's faces!

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From Negative to Print, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018





This is what the print looks like as the first paper is being fixed in the darkroom. The frame was exposed in India, then brought back to the world as a silver print thousands of miles away... magical like her beauty! 

These were made in the moment with an iPhone, the first of which was the negative in my hand over one of the chemical baths. The second is of the negative being projected onto the paper in the easel, and the third of which is the final print in the fixer.

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Friday, November 30, 2018

Six Faces + Tree, India, 2018

These are the faces awaiting me in the darkroom this weekend... truly a reason to give thanks this and every week. My dear brother Mukesh Poswal was with me for every one of these images, made them each possible!

Estas son las caras que me esperan en el cuarto oscuro mañana ... verdaderamente una razón para dar gracias esta y todas las semanas. Mi querido hermano Mukesh Poswal estuvo conmigo por cada una de estas imágenes, ¡las hizo posibles!


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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Boys Will Be Boys, Kisumu, Kenya, 2006


A dozen years ago I was privileged to have access to a beautiful community in western Kenya, thanks to a foundation named MACODEF. We went from village to village, from school to school, in search of incredible people and stories. Here is another image from that impromptu session, with one of the boys being a boy!

This school was on the outskirts of Kisumu, and we walked just to the side to make portraits of the entire student body. Some children had shoes and some lacked, while almost all of the children were wearing the only uniform that they possessed. The foundation is doing remarkable work given the conditions, and I applaud their efforts sincerely. Note: Image was made with a Nikon F100 camera.

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Note: Image was made with a Nikon F100 camera.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Group of Boys + Boulders, Kisumu, Kenya, 2006


A dozen years ago I was privileged to have access to a beautiful community in western Kenya, thanks to a foundation named MACODEF. We went from village to village, from school to school, in search of incredible people and stories. 

This school was on the outskirts of Kisumu, and we walked just to the side to make portraits of the entire student body. Some children had shoes and some lacked, while almost all of the children were wearing the only uniform that they possessed. The foundation is doing remarkable work given the conditions, and I applaud their efforts sincerely.


Website
Instagram

Note: Image was made with a Nikon F100 camera.