Saturday, November 1, 2014

Cigar Women, Havana, Cuba, 2003

I've spent the last week or so reprocessing photographs from my first trip to Cuba in 2003. I had all the originals saved so, with new software coming out seemingly every month, it was time to take a look a place I've been back to twice since then. I was curious to see how my limited photographic equipment (and skills) had held up. These "cigar women" caught my attention. They work mostly around the main plazas in Havana where the tourist traffic is high. They are colorful and represent all age groups. Many have been doing this for 50 years or more. The lady in white with the tarot card will tell your future, blow cigar smoke in your face, and try to convert you to Santeria. The bottom photo was taken in the morning in the Plaza de la Catedral as they got together to chat, check their makeup, and get ready to start the day selling flowers to tourists. The limitations of the Nikon 5700 Coolpix 5-megapixel camera aren't as apparent in these low-contrast photographs. It's only when you encounter areas of bright sun with shadows that the files seem to fall apart a bit. (a big bit actually) It was fun to revisit my first impressions of this magical place.

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