Where: Miami, Florida
Between Meeting: The Day After Photoshop World
8th Street, better known in the area as Calle Ocho, is a Cuban neighborhood filled with amazing people. While walking down Calle Ocho I came upon Maximo Gomez Park better known as Domino Park, where spirited people play a very aggressive game of dominos.
With my limited High School Spanish I befriended an elderly man. We drank some remarkable Cuban coffee. He then introduced me to his friends, we drank more coffee and also smoked an amazing cigar. After a good 45 minutes, I felt there was enough rapport that I could bring out the camera. Rapport is so important in this situation and my new friend was turning into a wonderful Fixer.
He advised me who I should photograph to make the best impression and then made the introductions. I saw a great face and asked if he could introduce me. He quickly refused telling me, “Not a good idea, he was at the Bay of Pigs and still a wanted man”. I took his advise, and we drank some more coffee.
I was in the zone capturing so many amazing images, but my concentration was quickly broken due to the after-effects of drinking all that coffee. There was so much to shoot and I didn’t want to leave, but I had to refocus my efforts on finding el bano.
I was so frustrated having to leave but when I came upon a mop leaning against a colorful wall outside the bano, I knew this was going to be the best shot. I made a strategic decision to take care of nature first, then made a few simple exposures where the mop looked like a face with long hair.
I was back in Miami a year later for a different trade show. After the show ended I headed straight to that park. I had a much higher resolution camera and was determined to make an even better photograph. I jumped out of the taxi and went straight to the wall. The mop was still there! But it was leaning against a freshly painted beige wall. It was now a zero picture. I was reminded to always get the shot, because it might not be there in the future.