Guest post: Cuba with the Nikon D800

Cuba with the Nikon D800
Today's guest post on Cuba is by Nemanja Rakic (Website | Facebook):

If you wanted a proper break from the rest of the world, Cuba is the place. WiFi is non existent. The dial up internet available is only supported in a few hotels and the computers are still using Windows 98. No more Facebook, gmail, twitter and other social media. Its just you now and whatever is waiting for you out that door.

With my current occupation I am able to visit many parts of the world in a short period. A lot of times I get to go back to some of them more than once. There is always something you have missed the first time so why not go there again and explore another side of it. However most of my favorite work comes from places I go to for vacation. Obviously I chose these places based on photographic opportunity. I prefer portraits and for me, a city is as good as its people are and Cuba is one of those places where even though they have so little, they manage to live a happy humble life.

Cuba with the Nikon D800
When you see Cuba, it is truly a place lost in time. While huge supermarkets and malls are rising around the world, here you rely on street markets and home raised vegetables. Majority of the cars on the streets are straight from the 1950s. Later I would find out that even though the outer shell is original, the insides of these cars has been changed many times by modern makeshift parts since they do not have anywhere a place that could supply them with original parts. Perfectly understandable considering their situation. Same goes for their architecture. Almost all the buildings have cracks or holes but that is what makes it authentic. Most of Cuba looks just as it did 50 years ago.

Cuba with the Nikon D800
Cuba with the Nikon D800
At these markets you are able to find National Geographic issues dating back to 1900s. They are all missing the front cover though. Another popular sales item are the baseball cards or coins from that era. This is when you wish you had WiFi to actually see if these are worth anything back in the modern world. The number one attraction obviously are the cuban cigars. They are sold everywhere. You will have to scout around for the best price since they all claim that their batch is the original one. What I mean by that is that there are cigars with "defects" that the factory does not use for their packaging. Instead they are given or sold for a small amount to locals who then wait for you, the tourist, to pick them up for a much higher price.

Cuba with the Nikon D800
The people are extremely nice and helpful. Each of them is a specific character. They don't have much but they get by with what they got and still keep their smile on. Cuba itself is one calm colorful city. Makes you wonder how it will look once the new regime comes into place. Will they try and keep it authentic or will they change most of it with modern buildings and skyscrapers. Time will tell, till then try to see it for what it is. It is truly a place where you can recollect your thoughts and for a few days or weeks escape the typical society lifestyle and sip on that cuba libre cocktail.

Cuba with the Nikon D800
For most of my portraits i use 85mm 1.8G but another one is the 24-70 which ends up on my camera most of the time for street photography until I manage to convince a person to pose for me which is when the 85 comes out.

If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

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