Green (Habana 26)

Time for another celebration of Cuban colour, a little more verdant this time.



Another bright and sunny day but the anemometer is accelerating bring the kite surfers back to the waves.  The waves themselves remain as powerful as ever and continue to bring interesting objects ashore.

It seemed to me that it was about time I shifted my attention away from the man-made objects on the beach to more natural finds.

The first wasn’t washed ashore, but was a tiny patch of bents grass, the plant that gives the area its name.  Peaking through the dry sand I like the strands of colour that it provided.

A little further and the plant-life got a whole lot bigger.  The bents grass has strong roots that help to bind together the sand at the edge of the beach.  This tree was clearly not so resilient.

From this angle I thought it was reminiscent of a scorpion!

And finally I spotted a small fish, breaking through the waves.  Its colouring suggested that it wasn’t indigenous to the area and the journey had clearly taken its toll upon the little creature, but it’s actually my favourite picture today.

As I left the beach I spotted today’s portrait subject hurrying to the bus stop.  Luckily the bus wasn’t due so I had the opportunity to shoot a couple of images.  Thanks Carol.

Treasures of the Beach

In my half hour of fresh air today I found some more items of interest, rediscovered an old friend, and had a comedy moment.

The found objects first:

The old friend is actually one of the items I spotted yesterday, but couldn’t believe that I should find it again after a couple of tides had washed over it.  It was clearly an omen so I’ve kept it!

Finally on meeting two women walking a dog and asking for a picture I had extremes of reaction; Margaret literally fled (though only for a short distance thankfully) whilst Angela picked up her dog to be in the picture.  With a bit of persuasion Margaret agreed to join in (don’t know why she had a problem as she has a fabulous smile) and Rocky agreed to pose.  Bit different from my usual style!

“A little bit special…”

Street portraiture is a hit or miss affair.  Either your subject is comfortable and willing to proceed or they’re not, and in the latter case why would a complete stranger persuade you otherwise?  Yes, there are probably some silver-tongued charmers out there who would push just to get the picture, but underlying my approach is a longer term view.  If my subject is happy with the process (and the eventual outcome) then they might just come back to me when they need a photographer in future.

Today’s subject is a bit different.  I’ve known her for a few years because she is a colleague of my hairdresser, so not a close relationship but the ice has long been broken.  She’s an obvious choice for a beauty portrait for her dark hair (of whatever hue she chooses this month!) frames a pair of brown eyes so dark and sparkling that they are like highly polished precious stones.

Clearly I had to include her in this portrait a day project, but here is the challenge.  She really doesn’t enjoy having her photograph taken.

This is a common feeling, but unlike working with complete strangers I’ve been able to plant the seed in good time, suggesting that I photograph her the next time I was in for a haircut. Her colleague Julie added her backing so there was no backing out.

Last Friday the day arrived, and I took her to the rear of the premises to shade her from the harsh light, and thinking that she might feel less self-conscious away from Julie.  There’s a lesson here for those who feel uncomfortable with being photographed – trust the photographer!  Although uncomfortable with the process she followed my directions until she spotted Julie at the window at which point the nervousness erupted into laughter.

English: Jade, an ornamental stone. White and ...

In all I shot 7 version of the same pose within a couple of minutes.  Hopefully not too much of a hardship for her.  Joking in the salon later, she was able to see the funny side, and we talked about suitable titles for today’s blog; “a little bit special” or “precious”, not out of any vanity on her part, but because her name is Jade, so it was the highly prized ornamental stone that we were talking about.  (Actually stones would be a better noun, since there are actually two geologically different rocks that were assumed for centuries to be variations of the same green material).

So was the moment of discomfort worth it?  Ultimately Jade must be the judge but I’m very happy with the result.  Her eyes may not be jade green, but you wouldn’t change them.  The background colour will do nicely though.