Havana, Cuba After Dark
I lived in Havana for over a year spanning 2002 and 2003. For most of that time I lived in the working class neighborhood of Centro Habana, paying US$60 a month to rent a one-room apartment that almost always had electricity and almost never had running water. I was there, at least in part, to study music. And many nights I found myself walking home, sometimes several kilometers, in the middle of the night from one of the several different jazz clubs in the city.
What always struck me was that this city seemed so alive, even at two, three, four in the morning. People hanging out on the street, enjoying the nighttime temperatures, chatting with neighbors, playing dominos. Kids playing in the street, bakeries readying the bread for the next day’s table, couples walking home from a night out, drivers unloading trucks, people dozing in front of the television just inside a front door left open for the evening breeze.
On recent trips to Havana I’ve started taking long walks through many different Havana neighborhoods late at night and in the early hours of the morning to try to capture photographically this over-night life. The series presented here comes from several strolls in December 2015 in the neighborhoods of Habana Vieja, Centro Habana, Vedado, el Cerro, and 10 de Octubre. I shot all of these photographs between about 11 pm and 4 am. A professional camera with a full-size sensor, a high ISO number, and a fast lens made it possible to use only natural, occurring light, which often wasn’t much light at all.