havana, cuba photographer

Photographer on the road - Havana, Cuba

It was one year ago when I was ready to take to bed. Clock was around 10:30 PM. It was cold winter night. We opened bed with Jenni and she started reading some book like she always do. As usual back then, I just wondered in my thoughts. Jenni got message from her friend ’’Heeey girl, look at this offer. Straight flights from Helsinki, Finland to Havana, Cuba just 298€ but it leaves tomorrow at 4 pm. We should go, hahahaha’’ Sure, maybe it was a joke and Jenni had school on the next day but then I realized that this is my opportunity to do something crazy. At least it felt like that. So I looked my calendar, pretty empty. Then I looked my bank account, pretty empty. Then I thought ’’I can do this’’ since when empty bank account have stopped somebody. After 5 minutes I had tickets on that flight. SHIT! I thought. I couldn’t believe it and actually i didn’t realize what had happened until I bought the tickets. Then BIG confusion came. I was still little bit sceptic about this offer since normally those flight are 1.5K. Night went over and at 4 pm I was in the plane. I had no hotel or casa booked. Just a piece of paper where was one casa’s (they name accommodation to casa in Cuba) address. Well, I had my crazy mind, small bag and camera. Well what else you need?

I still remember the smell & moisture when I step out of the plane. When I left from Helsinki it was -15*C so the temperature difference was huge. I managed to find place to sleep for first night with three other passengers. After that first night I took my stuff and moved to Ronaldo’s backpacker which I truly recommend from bottom of my heart if you are traveling by yourself or with friends. Great staff, great place and great small community.

I stayed in Havana for one week to experience the city. I wondered on the streets with my camera and tried to catch the flow. It wasn’t like I had seen in the magazines. Buildings weren’t so colorful as I thought so you really had to find them. Streets weren’t so clean but if you don’t pay attention about those things you can find place where music, salsa and good vibes meet each other. And that took me so I’m going back someday for sure. Oh, and those old cars! Loved it.

When I started packing to this trip I decided that I want to go light. So I took my 20 liter backpack and that means also no supermegahyper camera gear. So the little beast called Fujifilm X100T had job to be done. I took the camera with converters WCL-X100 & TLC-X100 and they worked like a charm. It’s small and light enough to hang around my neck all day. Small enough that I can play a stupid tourist and who wants to steal old film camera? Perfect. Also I noticed, when you have less gear you pay more attention to photo itself. Gear really can make harm to your photos. Instead of paying attention to photo you think which is perfect lens for this moment or should I use this camera or that? Stick to what you have. Maybe even one camera and one lens. Take the photo. Move on. Fujifilm X100 series have been my travel buddy since 2013 Trans-Siberia trip and now, when X100F is published I cannot wait to test it.

Now, when I look back to that trip I’m so glad it happened. I saw Havana. I felt it. I smelled it. But what is most important is that I met some awesome people from different places with different stories. Where ever you are, sometimes my thoughts wonder to you and Havana.