3 days in Havana

Mamiya 6 rangefinder camera w/ 50mm f.4  lens & Kodak Ektachrome 100VS

"3 days in Havana" is my documentation of everyday life in Havana, Cuba from this summer.  I just walked around and saw things and shot, and met people and shot some more.  I shoot medium format 6x6 and I like the square images, but I wanted to portray street scenes as they are, with distinct little pieces of life, so came upon the idea of putting them together in panoramas, like what some phone apps do.  But instead of digitally smoothed stitching, I just overlapped the squares.  They don’t align perfectly but I like that.

I’m an American, so I’m not really supposed to go to Cuba because of the American embargo – that relic of the Cold War.  Cuba is unlike any place I’ve ever been, a very different kind of society, both by design and, I think, a result of the embargo.  I felt that I landed in a different time, a mix of the past and some vision of the future, an alternate parallel world.  Add to that the isolation from no internet, no phone service, and no way to get more money (because American bank cards and credit cards don’t work there), and I got a taste of the isolation Cubans live with each day, ending up at the end of my brief stay broke and hungry like many of the people I met.

I look forward to returning, visiting other parts of the country, and to celebrating the end of the embargo.

—Peter Brian Schafer  

CGSF: If you can’t get enough of these amazing shots and presentation, fret not, as we have more to share with you in a second installment of this series. Do visit Peter’s website for more awe-inspiring pano-collages.

As always if you want to share some of your creative juices with us here at CGSF, write to us!!

Greek Army soldiers use a rangefinder to target invading enemy Italian positions in the Pindus mountain range during the Greco-Italian War. The conflict began in October 1940 and marked the beginning of the Balkans Campaign. The initial Greek counteroffensive was the first successful land campaign against the Axis Powers during the war. The Italian retreat and the Greek forces push well into Italian-occupied Albania forced the Germans to intervene on Italy’s behalf, resulting in the Battle of Greece in April 1941. Pindus mountain range, Epirus Region, Greece. November 1940.   


10,000 km in America

Day 2 : Clarksdale, Mississippi. Delta Blues and the Devil’s Crossroads.

Киев 4, Гелиос-103 53mm f/1.8, Fujifilm Neopan 400

(full series here)