Amidst the urban decay, trees take root in the strangest places. Did you ever watch the show "Life After People"? It's a series that explores what our planet might be like if the human race were to suddenly disappear. There are many scenes of nature taking back the city. In Havana, you get a little taste of that, even though the people haven't disappeared.
My eyes and brain are still reeling from the visual cacophony that is Havana. The density of details to absorb here is perhaps higher than any place I have visited to date. There is the beautiful, the ugly, the astounding, the incomprehensible and the tragic. And you can encounter all of that in the span of a 5 minute walk. Walking through Havana is a great workout for the brain as you are constantly trying to figure out what is going on around you, and as a photographer, what to focus on. In this first post, I start from above, getting an overview, before diving into the details.
Saturday, we got a day off from the frigid temperatures here in Quebec, so I was able to stay outside for more than 5 minutes at a time. I went for a drive in the country and spotted three snowy owls along these country roads. I would call that an afternoon well spent.
As photographers, we often have "the shot" we want to get in our mind's eye before we get to a location. When we arrive, we discover we have so little control over so many factors. The only rational response is to be humbled by nature and to put aside expectations. I photographed Godafoss in Iceland in June of 2013 and there had been a lot of snow over the winter. It, of course, was all melting at this point and there were near-record amounts of water flowing over the falls, so they looked quite different from what I was expecting. The water level in the basin was so high that it was impossible to stand where needed to get "that shot". In such moments, a few deep breaths are always helpful in clearing our noggins of preconceived notions and allowing our eyes and our hearts to take over.
Waipi'o Valley sits five miles deep on the Big Island. It is known as the Valley of the Kings as it was once home to many of the early Hawaiian rulers. At this time, however, fewer than 100 people live here. Other than on "Main Street", there is no electricity. It is remote, wild, and gorgeously lush. The descent into the valley is something of a white-knuckle affair, but the rewards are incredible.