Last year, one of my favorite images was of the same man that is in this image.  I was happy to find him again as was the rest of the group.  So, what to do?  I already have a wonderful image from last year.  How do I make better one?  I stood back and let the gang enjoy the moment.  I moved out of the way and to the side to let others have the better location to shoot.  Then I decided to shoot wider this time as last years image was a close up.  After we left, a participant showed me his image that included the man’s wife.  I was happy for him, but disappointed that I didn’t get a similar image. His was excellent.  When I returned home and reviewed my images, I found this one.  I realized I was so focused on the man, I didn’t see his wife in the frame. What a pleasant surprise.  So, what is the lesson?  Sometimes we can get so caught up in the moment we don’t allow ourselves to see. By see I mean seeing beyond the obvious.  Seeing beyond our expectations.  Seeing beyond our visual memory bank of ideas.  I was so focused on him, I was blind to the other elements of the scene.

This entry was posted in Cuba, Inspiration.


  1. Shaun January 31, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    This is a pretty special image, John.

    The relaxed, laconic look on his face contrasts sharply with the overly thin, anxious demeanor of his wife, inside the house behind him. It reminds me of how my late mother used to describe my late father: “a town angel and a house devil”. By that, she meant, of course, that the public face that he presents to the outside world may be one of serenity and contentment but, back home, everything may not be quite so rosy.

    You have captured that dichotomy perfectly in this image.

    • john8276 January 31, 2013 at 2:18 am #

      Thanks Shaun. I was pleasantly surprised with this image. Appreciate your comment.

  2. Denise Bush January 31, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    I remembered what you said in one of your first posts after returning from Cuba, and went back to find it and quote you. “… I was not able to truly get into a focused place to do my best work”. Oh my gosh … are you kidding? This work is absolutely fantastic! I like that you focused on the people a little more this time … the images tell such rich stories.

    • john8276 January 31, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      Thanks Denise. Happy that I have a few that I’m very happy with! 🙂

  3. Brenda February 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    Well done, John. I agree with you, sometimes we are ‘blind’ to what’s happening around us when we get so focused. But I would also venture to say that with photographing regularly, we can develop an inner sense that sees things we might not be conscious of. You might not have seen this scene with your eyes, but your subconscious was in perfect control of the situation! It’s an inner sense that develops. Minor White once said “I have often photographed when I was not in tune with nature but the photographs look as if I had been. So I conclude that something in nature says, ‘Come and take my photograph.’ So I do, regardless of how I feel.” I think if we replace the word ‘nature’ in this quote, it represents what I’m saying, pretty much.

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