Looking back to move forward.

The strong, low, early sun breaching the streets and the relaxed nature of the people I encountered was a memory to treasure, and one, I’ll never forget.

Photography is a journey right? And I believe on each journey, every now and then, when you stop, you have to turn around and look at where you have come from. Only by looking back can you move forward.

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In 2008, I went to Cuba on holiday. Havana was just amazing, the streets buzzing with people and the famous cars from the 50s. I made a habit of going out early each morning, I wanted to see the real Cuba, before the tourists surfaced and plodded the pavements in search of cigars and the bars frequented by Ernest Hemingway. It did not disappoint.

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The strong, low, early sun breaching the streets and the relaxed nature of the people I encountered was a memory to treasure, and one, I’ll never forget.

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Leaving the main thoroughfares I headed in to backstreets, I was greeted with smiles and I felt safe, just me and my camera. I felt free.

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In those backstreets, I found what I was looking for, the real Havana, not a tourist to be seen and even the dogs were relaxed.

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I felt so comfortable, that I had no issue at all approaching anyone and asking if I could make their image, as I recall, no one said no.

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Somedays I walked for miles, just to get away from the centre, always searching for something other than the falseness that tourism attracts.

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Cuba offered an experience that to date I have found hard to replicate, maybe it was the nature of the Cubans, the friendly atmosphere or the weather. I remember my confidence was running high, I wasn’t afraid to stop and ask, I just did it.

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It has, though, taken me many years to look at these images properly, to analyse them and wonder what my motivation was behind each image. This is why I love looking back at images. I find it helps to motivate me, it helps me understand the process I went though. Looking back drives me forward.

 

  1. Very good pictures. I love the choice of going for b & w. Hopefully one day I will go to Cuba too. Thanks for posting.

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    1. Thank you, Cuba is amazing, I definitely want to go back. I love black and white, works especially well when the images have a lot of contrast.

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  2. Love the Cuba photos xx

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  3. really engaging story Stu, I guess its all about time, experiencing it, recording it then after spending time away, evaluating it all. Just lovely.

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    1. Thank you Giles. I think your right, like a good wine.

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  4. Sounds like an amazing trip! Great photos! Thanks for following my blog!

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    1. Thank you Andy, I’m relatively new here, still looking around for more great blogs.

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      1. There are a lot of good blogs to follow. Welcome to the community ­čśÇ

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      2. Thank you, honoured to be here.

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  5. Thanks for taking me to Cuba! I really would like to see it one day. Love your photos.

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    1. Thank you, I loved it. I’m sure it will change now they have opened their doors more with the US.

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  6. Excellent blog post !
    Your photographs really do tell a story.

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    1. Thank you, appreciate it very much.

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  7. You have a gift in your photography and way of describing the scenes. It is going to bring joy following your journey and seeing the world through your eyes and words.

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  8. Excellent photography. I really loved the one with the dog sleeping in the floor while people is all around, but they are all exceptional. Great job.

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    1. Thank you, very much appreciated. I loved the dogs in Cuba, they were all so cool.

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      1. Oh si, but that one so quiet sleeping in the floor… it was the perfect picture what you captured

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  9. A great portrait of Havanna in b&w, well done!

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    1. Thank you, I can’t wait to go back someday.

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  10. Mood sensitive, yet sharp in focus.
    Thank you for following my posts, where I try to do likewise verbally.
    See you soon…

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    1. Thank you, thank you too. I look forward to reading more.

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  11. Thank you for visiting and following my blog. Your photography and writing are fantastic.

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