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Cuba, the magic of imperfection

Tales and thoughts on a trip to the island

I visited Cuba in 2015. As many Canarios (people born in the Canary Islands), I do have family in Cuba, mostly people who migrated during the civil war and never returned . It was my very first time in the Caribbean country, I experienced it to its fullest and came back with a handful of film rolls that I developed, scanned but never used anywhere. Too personal for a magazine, too much hassle for a blog post. But here we are now, on a lockdown due to Coronavirus, the perfect time to go through all this material and making something nice out of it.

Cuba is a large island. One of the largest on the planet indeed, so you get to spend lots of time in taxis. I enjoyed shooting people and places through the old car windows.

There was barely 2 or 3 minutes time difference between these two photos. Same city (La Habana) and same neighborhood. Cuba's full of contrast, a place where beauty and decadence co-exist.

I bumped into these kids playing football on the street on the outskirts of Cienfuegos. I wasn't composing through the viewfinder so they wouldn't notice. This series is definitely one of my favorites.

Faces show emotions, but backs show an intention, a pure exhibition of one's own spirit and soul.

Two different views of Cienfuegos. This little girl was standing at a pharmacy doorstep waiting for her mum. I pulled out my camera and took her photo. She's just beautiful.

Just another building about to collapse in La Havana. I love the fact that there's a mark on the left door that resembles the girl´s hand on the wall.

I wanted to close this story with the picture below. Cuba's always a controversial topic, whether you like the island or not, whether you find it just another Caribbean holiday destination or a place to re-learn the human basics, it's no wonder Cuba´s a meaningful and life-changing place.

I shot this picture on a stroll in Viñales, and the shadow... that shadow really caught my attention.

Footnotes: Snapshots of 20 days on the road in Cuba shot on my Leica M3 and Rolleiflex TLR.
The Visual Stories are either a good starting point to see my work, or the perfect dose of personal photography before you leave. Your call.

An online gallery’s nice, but nothing beats a good old document with a bunch of photos.
Feel free to download the specific portfolios in PDF format from the links below.

Sports portfolio
Fashion and lifestyle portfolio
Water and lifestyle portfolio
Outdoor portfolio