PDA

View Full Version : Senior citizens, 80+, one day in Vinales Cuba


Bob Michaels
09-20-2014, 20:05
Last Sunday, in Vinales Cuba, I went back to see an old farmer that I had photographed several years ago (old photo here (http://bobmichaels.org/Cuba%20photos%202103/slides/470-old-man-woman-cyclone-house.html)) and found out he was 97 years old. Then the next person I photographed was 86, then 85. So I made the afternoon into a mini-project of those 80 and older than I came across that day. Fortunately it was a nice day and Cubans sit on their porches a lot.

97 years old (and, he caught the pig barehanded for the photo)

http://bobmichaels.org/Cuba%20September%202014/slides/farmer-97-YO-w-pig-Vinales.jpg

86 years old

http://bobmichaels.org/Cuba%20September%202014/slides/man-sitting-86-YO-Vinales.jpg

85 years old. She was hanging out the laundry but sat down when I begin to speak to her.

http://bobmichaels.org/Cuba%20September%202014/slides/lady-sitting-85-YO-Vinales.jpg

90 years old

http://bobmichaels.org/Cuba%20September%202014/slides/woman-sitting-straight-on-90-YO-Vinales.jpg

86 years old

http://bobmichaels.org/Cuba%20September%202014/slides/man-raking-yard-86-YO-Vinales.jpg

Only 80 years old. He told me that I photographed him early in the day as they were sitting outside the local Masonic Lodge before the service started.

http://bobmichaels.org/Cuba%20September%202014/slides/man-head-shoulders-80-YO-Vinales.jpg

http://bobmichaels.org/Cuba%20September%202014/slides/Masonic-lodge-80-YO-Vinales.jpg

CMur12
09-20-2014, 20:45
Great theme and portraits, Bob. I especially like the first one, as it communicates so much character.

You seem to have a real bond with the Cuban people. Are you able to speak with them in Spanish? (Quite different from the Mexican Spanish we more commonly hear in the US.)

- Murray

Finglas
09-20-2014, 20:53
Bob, Wonderful, just wonderful.
I have some photos too, taken with Nikon FE, 50mm f1.8 and fuji reala 100 asa in the times I was there a decade or so ago. Alas I can't display them here as I never got a scanner and the whole digital thing is beyond me.

But the longevity of Cubans is great to see. I remember in Santiago de Cuba taking a photo of an old man - his face weather beaten and heavily lines with his pale blues eyes fading in the harsh sunlight.... he told me that his father was Spanish... it was only later I realised that a lot of old Cubans even Fidel himself are the same. What he meant was his Dad came from Spain while they still ruled the place and from what we see in history books - to them was immediate family history... Hard living, hard work, frugal lifestyle, sun, culture, it just runs in their genes and very passionate but gentle people too.

Thanks for sharing your new photos, you'd never see this in Ireland now, although in the past it was common enough, but older Irish people are more shy and more indoors too. Next time I go to Cuba (if ever) I will bring the rangefinder camera and maybe black and white film too for a change.

all the best - John

x-ray
09-20-2014, 20:57
Bob I love your work. Beautiful images! Very clean and honest style. It's obvious you do more than make pictures, you connect with your subject.

sevres_babylone
09-20-2014, 21:12
I agree about #1 being a standout. It's a wonderful series as a whole though.

Bob Michaels
09-21-2014, 04:35
...... You seem to have a real bond with the Cuban people. Are you able to speak with them in Spanish? ......


Although I always photograph alone, my Spanish is limited to a few hundred words. My grammar is horrible as is my pronunciation. But I am of the opinion that verbal communications is greatly overrated so manage to get by with smiles and gestures.

I think that if you truly care about people, that vibe comes through loud and clear. If all you want is photographs, no amount of words will disguise your intent.

FrankS
09-21-2014, 04:50
A language barrier can be a great bridge between people.

Our mutual human-ness is exposed/evident as we struggle to communicate.

helenhill
09-21-2014, 05:04
To Speak with the Heart and Eyes is Supreme
Who needs Words that can be misconstrued

Lovely set indeed ... great to see the aging of life in its Natural beauty.... no cosmetic sugery here or airbrushing ... I Adore the 1st and 2nd shot

maggieo
09-21-2014, 08:44
Lovely photos of such beautiful, healthful folks!

daveleo
09-21-2014, 09:31
Bob,

Always love your pictures. You get in there and make that connection.

Eric T
09-21-2014, 09:51
Bob,
Was it difficult for you to enter Cuba? Did you have a special visa?
Eric

Vics
09-21-2014, 11:20
Fine work, Bob! Judging from this set, Cubans seem to age in good health and relaxed good humor. Thanks for posting. I hope there are more to come!

CMur12
09-21-2014, 11:46
Although I always photograph alone, my Spanish is limited to a few hundred words. My grammar is horrible as is my pronunciation. But I am of the opinion that verbal communications is greatly overrated so manage to get by with smiles and gestures.

I think that if you truly care about people, that vibe comes through loud and clear. If all you want is photographs, no amount of words will disguise your intent.

I have seen travelers communicate very effectively with a tiny bit of language used resourcefully. I think smiles, gestures, and a sincere desire to connect with other persons are big parts of this. Your photos show that you are, indeed, connecting, and the human spirit portrays itself in black and white. I like what you're doing.

- Murray

NY_Dan
09-21-2014, 13:05
Nice series!

newspaperguy
09-21-2014, 13:28
Beautiful work Brother Michaels! I really think you outdid y'self.

Old Rick (Who just got an invite to his 65th high school reunion.)

Gary, Indiana in the winter? No.. I'm not going.

Bob Michaels
09-21-2014, 15:27
Was it difficult for you to enter Cuba? Did you have a special visa?

Cuba grants admission to anyone. Americans are #1 favorites because of our ability to spend money there. There are no restrictions once in the country. As of two years ago, Cubans are free to leave the country with no hassles either for short term visits or permanent relocation to any country who will accept them. Only problem is that few countries, especially the US, will admit them.

The visa to enter Cuba is a card which requires no approval and is only proof that you have paid the fee.

Please understand that I am certainly no fan of the Cuban government but must acknowledge reality.

Departing the US to visit Cuba is a different matter as our travel is regulated by our government. However it is not too difficult as 635,000 Americans visited Cuba legally last year. Most common is the automatic license is to visit family. Obama changed the definition of "family" to a very liberal one and allows unlimited visits.

Eric T
09-21-2014, 18:24
Thanks for the information on traveling to Cuba from the USA. I had no idea that there were so many flights between Miami and Cuba.
You photos of Cuba are amazing. Thanks for sharing.
Eric

lynnb
10-07-2014, 05:17
Very nice series Bob - I always look forward to seeing your photographs.