To prepare for 2023, I travelled to Cuba and Crete. These were photographic opportunities, as well as times to learn and explore. I booked this 22 September opening slot at the start of the year, and decided to explore different approaches to framing, and mixing digital colour with high grain 35mm black and white. Pictures from Cuba exemplify this. But first see the pics below for treatment of old 35mm neg prints and Mangawhai landscape snaps.
In March I visited Havana, Cuba, attracted by its Colonial development by Spain hundreds of years ago, and by its political history. I wanted to capture how it felt to live there.
I took two digital cameras and a black and white 35mm film camera. The economics of Cuba and of most Cubans suffered after the breakup of the Soviet Union (which had supported Cuba with imports, exports and investment), and because of USA’s anti-communist stance. Black and white images portray the tough lifestyle contrasting with grand colonial architecture backdrops, But local colour and street art show despite that, Cuban character shines through.
These gritty, tightly composed, black and white pictures, framed by colours from the street, and interrupted by vibrant local snapshots are my telling of that story.
Was in Crete in August, for a family reunion. My plan was to revisit places I’d photographed years ago – mainly Roman and Greek ruins.
But this time I saw the place differently. I felt drawn to the mountainous landscapes, where some of the fiercest fighting with kiwi forces in WWII happened. So hot and dry. So little shelter, so little cover, so stony. Olive trees grew anywhere and everywhere. I loved the ancient trunks and stone walls – mostly marble. So instead of the remains of yesterday’s landscapes, I focussed on today’s landscapes. These come out of the same ground and feel the same.