A walk through Havana | The Wider Image

In Cuba, you need to be prepared for simplicity. Only after spending many years living in big cities do I feel like I have the maturity to understand and fully appreciate life in Havana.The city is considered an architectural jewel with a mix of colonial homes and Art Deco buildings.Wherever you might be looking for daily life features, through the narrow and noisy streets of Old Havana, between the beautiful houses of the Vedado neighbourhood or even in the newer suburban districts, you feel like a child in a candy store.Its very tempting to photograph the seafront boulevard El Malecon, or the vintage cars there are some 60,000 of them in Havana. These will be always beautiful, but Cuba is much more than that.Despite shortages of products, public transportation problems, buildings and hospitals in bad shape and low salaries, Cubans have time to focus on simple things like practicing gymnastics at parks, playing domino on the sidewalk or just sitting with friends and a guitar on Saturdays nights at Avenida de los Presidentes.It can be very interesting to catch an Almendron, the vintage cars used as collective taxis, and start a conversation, or even to sit in a collective table of Coppelia, the classic ice-cream parlour in Cuba.Youll be surprised by how many ideas for photo features you will come up with from these conversations.Cubans are very sociable and curious about foreigners. Maybe this is the reason Ive been always welcomed into their homes to shoot, while they watch their much-loved soap operas and with the front door usually open for fresh air.I am out shooting on the street every day and some times at night as well, and I never felt threatened. I believe Havana is the safest capital city in Latin America.It makes me think, thats how my country, Brazil, might have been at the time of my grandparents, from the stories they used to tell me.