Tag Archives: Cuba

Photographing People when Traveling

I love photographing people when traveling. When I visit a country for its culture, I love wandering around on the streets, capturing the daily interactions of people, the day-to-day activities. It’s the people that can make the place feel alive, when you are in the cities, towns, village. On this day in Cuba I was wandering around a farmers’ market, and came upon what had to be the country’s largest squash for sale. It was the biggest I had even seen there. He was so proud to show it off, too! I noted that he had already cut it in half – no doubt because even the largest of families in Cuba would not be able to prepare or eat a whole one at one time. He assured me it was organically farmed, and I believe him – because pesticides and fertilizers are expensive and hard to come by unless you are farming for the government. Good thing, in this case. 

My Spanish didn’t account for agricultural terms, but I did know the word calabasa meant squash, and I managed to have enough conversation that he was relaxed and happy to be photographed. Travel photography is about capturing a sense of place, both in the landscape and the people that live in that place. Not everyone likes to include people in their landscapes, and I agree – the natural landscape can stand on its own for its stunning beauty. But a place that is inhabited with so many people just feels empty if you capture the street without anyone there – unless you are trying to express the emptiness, a feeling of loneliness, etc. Yet for me, Cuba represents a vibrant culture, and it’s a great place for street and cultural photography. The people living there are so friendly, and genuine, and often visually unique, with their complex ethnic backgrounds. (African, Russian, and Chinese mixed in with the traditional Cuban genes). Cuba is about the people as much as it’s about the decaying buildings, cars, even though I love to photograph those, too! This just makes the place even more visually rich! I know that not everyone feels comfortable photographing people, even if interested, so I teach this on my cultural photography tours, helping people to become comfortable interacting with locals, making portraits, and working the ‘street scene’.

I’ll be returning to eastern Cuba, the oriente as it’s often referred to, in December 2018, co-leading a cultural, people-to-people photo tour that combines an experience of the eastern part of the island with the  streets and environment around Havana. We’ll explore the diverse landscape and cities/towns and interact with and photograph the people of both sides of this intriguing island. The tour is co-lead with pro photographer Jed Manwaring, who has a great eye for the street and the unexpected photograph. We hope you’ll join us for some tropical fun and adventure next December!  See details and more photos here and then go to Strabo Tours’ page to sign up. 

 

 

Brenda Tharp is an award-winning photographer, photo tour leader, workshop instructor, inspirational speaker, fine art photographer, and writer. California photographer, landscape photographer, nature photographer, travel photographer, people photographer, worldwide photographer, western, usa, cuba, morocco, ireland, italy, namibia, myanmar, spain, bhutan, alaska, photo workshops, photo seminars, photo tours, photography workshops, photography tours, keynote speaker, author, photography books, photo books, inspirational.

Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Cuba, documentary photography, general photography, travel photography, workshops & photo tours Also tagged , , , , |

Who knows where the time goes…

Produce Vendor, Baracoa, Eastern Cuba

How can it be MAY already? The blog title, from a Judy Collins song, says it best!

Here’s the latest news in a nutshell:

• I’m growing more excited with each day about my latest book, Expressive Nature Photography, that will hit the shelves July 25th!! Use the links (non-affiliate) below for fast ordering at your favorite bookstore. 

• My monthly newsletter just went out! If you’re not on the list, subscribe here – to get the latest schedule of events and some photo tips, too. Highlights include some favorites and some new trips for 2018 – Tuscany in May, Wonders of Namibia in July, Tanzania in September, Slovenia in October, and Cuba East/West in early December. You will find the listings on the workshop/tour calendar page, and details will be coming soon on most of those events!

• I will be the photography leader on board for three coastal Alaska cruises for Lindblad/NatGeo Expeditions in June – it will be great to be up there for three straight weeks and I’m looking forward to working with all the guests on these top-notch adventures.

• Those of you that follow my twitter feed have noticed I’ve been promoting my photographs on FineArtAmerica.com, as well as the art of others. Click on the link to see my collection of images available for purchase there. 

• Oh, and the vegetable garden is in great shape, ready to start producing now (about the time I’ll be away, lol!) The post image is from eastern Cuba – this guy is pretty happy about his squash! If mine grow as big, I’ll be inviting the neighborhood to dinner!

 

Quick links for buying the book:

 

 

 

Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Cuba, workshops & photo tours Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Red and Green, Central Cuba

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In Camagüey, eastern Cuba, they were ‘puttin’ on the ritz’ with fresh coats of paint on a lot of buildings when I was last there. The town, like Trinidad, is a UNESCO world site, and boasts a strong collection of classic Spanish colonial, art deco, neo-colonial, and neoclassical architecture, and like Trinidad, is a historic village for sugar cane production nearby.

As I wandered by this man, I noticed his brilliant red ball cap against the green walls, a harmonious color contrast. That was exciting, and when I realized he was painting, and the light was nice and strong sidelight, I thought this had potential.  I watch for a minute or two, and when he leaned out to paint, I captured the photo just before the roller made contact.

When I wander the streets of any place, be it Cuba or Florence, Italy, I’m looking for stories – and gestures that help to tell the story. In this image, the guy is clearly on  ladder to do some work, but the paint roller is the feature that tells what he’s doing up there, along with the swaths of different paint coats.

Enjoy, and thanks for visiting!

 

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Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Cuba, Insights, photographing people, Street Photography, travel photography Also tagged , , , |

Shadow Man, Cuba 2015

Well, it’s been another whirlwind of 2 months of travel and leading/teaching and I didn’t keep up with posting on my blog very well. But I’m back to it, and look forward to sharing images and insights with you in the coming weeks and months.

The main post image might be considered a ‘lucky moment’ but since friends were involved, I have to come clean on this! But it all started with a serendipitous accident. I was working on the vertical photo you’ll see below, I was drawn to the blue/green and the light/shadow contrast, when someone walked in between me and the wall. But in that instant, I saw a shadow blur by, and I knew there was a fun photo opportunity here. Since his wife was also photographing the grillwork and details we ‘ganged up’ on her husband who had the perfect hat for this, and had him pose in various positions until we found the right profile. Some photographs are seen, some are created, and my motto is “Art is art no matter how it was derived.” Enjoy!!

 

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Posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, creative ideas, general photography, travel photography Also tagged , , , |