Cuba #2


I said before I left for this trip, that I wanted to focus more on the people of Cuba. I believe I did this, however, I’m not sure I succeeded.  Sure, I made some nice images I like, but when I look at others work, I feel I am falling short.  “Street” photography is not easy, it takes patience and timing. And then there is the idea of capturing the moment unaware versus engaging the subject.  I tend to want to get permission which means engaging with the people.  What I do know is, I will get better at this type of photography over time and with much practice. 

This triptych was created on the first day.  A happy moment to be sure!  Remember to click on the image to view it bigger.

More thoughts on “street photography” and the people of Cuba as I continue to post over the coming weeks.

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  1. Victoria January 16, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    He’s a real charmer… great captures… his personality fairly jumps off the screen1

  2. Victoria January 16, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    Argh… the “1” at the end of the sentence above is supposed to be an “!” mark!11

  3. Celeste Mahmood January 16, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    Love the first image, with the sibling looking forward in the background!

  4. Mary Butler January 16, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    love them all, but would like him to be looking at -you- in the one on the right. You were maybe with others and he was looking at one of them? but good work here and great triptych idea.

    • john8276 January 16, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

      Fair comment Mary. Thanks!

  5. betty January 16, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    Great triptych . I know what you mean about the difficulty in doing street photography. When I went to Cuba a few years ago I would get 1 or 2 candid shots, then ask permission for a few more if the subject was interesting enough. I always liked the candid ones better. However, that could be because I didn’t really know how to engage the subject and know how to have them pose. I look forward to seeing more of your shots from Cuba, such a fascinating place with such wonderful friendly people.

    • john8276 January 16, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

      BETTY!! So good to hear from you!

  6. mrsammy7 January 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    Great! Just like the people of Cuba!

  7. Scott O January 16, 2014 at 11:18 pm #

    Am I hearing the little JB self-doubt voice??? This is a wonderful series. From what I have seen you are an excellent “people” photographer. The shots of your boxer buddy or what you have taken of Abby come to mind. The fact that you don’t have the body of work in that area has nothing to do with how good you are. Personally, I love your people pictures!

  8. Bob Towery January 17, 2014 at 1:20 am #

    You know what they say… practice, practice, practice! That’s one of the things that makes street photography fun – it’s not easy. Just love the shots you got of this kid. Well done.

  9. Gloria Matyszyk January 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    When I was in Cuba 2 months ago I also did not get many candid street photos. Yes I carried the M&Ms and small bills to pay for the shots. Travel to Cuba from other counties is so easy and inexpensive that I think the people are overrun with tourists trying to take their photo. I had so many people turn away from me. So I used a zoom. And before I went to Cuba I devoured yours and Tony Sweet’s Cuba photos!

    • john8276 January 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Gloria. I just had a look through your Cuba gallery and there is some very good work there. Well done!

    • Gloria Matyszyk January 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      Thanks John for the kind words!

  10. Sharen Rawes January 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    We’ve had this discussion before John! You do s we’ll with people pix, but I, too, find it hard to engage them in foreign countries! I think my problem may be that I keep eating the M&Ms….

    • john8276 January 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      WHAT??? I’m not supposed to eat the M&M’s? Thanks Sharen.

  11. Evie Ausley January 18, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    John, I always look forward to seeing your work. Street photography takes patience and dedication. If you have a chance, watch a documentary on Bill Cunningham. He is a style photographer for the New York Times and in his 80’s. Check it out Netflix. He rides his bike all over New York looking for great shots.

    • john8276 January 18, 2014 at 2:56 am #

      As I do your work Evie. Thanks for the tip on the video. I’ll take a look as I have Netflix.

  12. Stephan January 18, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    You ask, “I’m not sure I succeeded?” I will respond, “Yes!”

    Each image of this boy shows his personality and character. As each is different you show and captured how quickly a moment changes. You also captured that this boy obviously felt comfortable with you, shared his character and he allowed you to capture these moments – interaction with your subject and moment. The Comfort Zone!

    Street and candid photography are not easy. Some images can be created or you can place yourself at a given location where things are happening. You cannot predict the future and you never know what you will find…

    You obviously have your expectations of “success” or have a “look” that you expect… That is defined by you. If you share or are hired or sell, the viewer willl likely add definition, praise, opinion and response.

    As in any town, city or location, you have the ability to move and seek what you are looking for. There are the good areas, the risk areas and simply, “the good, the bad and the ugly” areas – all of which will still have its own good and bad aspects.

    As shared, “comfort, confidence and control” in your craft, the use of your equipment and with whatever you are doing allow things to happen, be noticed or simply achieved. When things become “second nature” you no longer dwell upon fears or things you do not have control of… You become able to react and respond to any given moment.

    We ultimately capture a lot of images. What we define as successful images today, may change tomorrow. Or, each image is treasured for its own merits, its own moment, experience and story(ies) and we accept our succes(es) accordingly … And live to shoot pictures another day.

    Visualizing the people and street images you have posted … And, now adding these of this boy… Individually or combined, you captured the character and spirit of this boy. Your interaction definitely made him comfortable with you and to be photographed.

    You have succeeded in many ways!

    Awesome work JB!

    • john8276 January 19, 2014 at 2:01 am #

      Thanks for your thoughts Stephan.

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