Visiting Cuba has been a lifelong dream and I’m so grateful I had the chance to fulfill that. I just got back from a week in Havana and I can say that it’s had a profound impact on me. Not just personally, but also on the way I think about photography.
No matter what you’ve seen in movies, photos or books cannot do justice to the energy of Havana. So much hustle and bustle, but people living a much simpler life. People aren’t checking FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter or even email for that matter every 5 seconds.
Sure, many Cubans have cell phones, but culturally it’s so different. While in Cuba, I was constantly moving, taking in sites, making photos, meeting people, however, my mentality shifted. I slowed down.
I would share this with anyone that’s traveling. Spend time getting acquainted with your new city. Sure, you’ll want to take a million photos, and maybe you’ll need to get that out of your system, but until you do, you won’t really be “seeing” the city. Once you slow down and start “seeing” things, you will appreciate it so much more.
It’s like going to a concert and holding up your cell phone to record crappy video of the show that you’re watching thru your stupid cell phone and not really properly paying attention to the concert. Not really experiencing it. Same for travel. Put the cell phone away. Look around you. Take it in. Then make pictures.
I hope you get the chance to check out the work of Raúl Cañibano. His photography was some of the best I’ve ever seen. Ever. Just amazing work. Such vision. Raúl sees the world. His photos show that. Because he’s Cuban, his work is not readily available in the USA, but you can find it if you look hard enough.
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