Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Man with Cigarette, Countryside of Cuba, 2017


After an early afternoon at Gysleda's school our group walked together to the main street in order to get taxis home. My friends were concerned about me but accepted my assurance and caught a taxi to their separate homes. Immediately after they left two men standing next to their taxi struck up a conversation with me, while they were speaking to their police friend. They asked me if I needed a ride.

I hesitated then asked them if they would be wiling to head into the countryside. They told me that they were from the countryside and would be more than happy to take me there. We agreed on a price for four hours and headed out. Here I was with two strangers driving more than an hour away from the city, a testament to the people of Cuba.

We talked as we drove and they invited me to their neighborhood. First we drove to the assistant's home and met his family. His grandmother was really sweet, as was her family. Then we headed to the driver's neighborhood, a much larger one with more families. We said hello to his family and while we were speaking the neighbors showed interest in our visit.

The neighbors included this man who was quite the comic. They agreed to be photographed and he dared me to photograph him with his cigarette. I agreed of course and we exposed a few frames with him releasing the smoke ever so slowly. Everyone was laughing at the scene, helping break the ice even more so.

This is the kind of meeting which makes the photography so special. One minute we're in the city looking for a taxi home and the very next minute we're in a neighborhood one hour away making portraits.


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Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.