Global Lens Reflections on life, the universe, and everything

Havana mirror

A hairdresser's shop in the old city of Havana.

Mirrors are cool. In this hairdresser's shop in Havana, about the only way I could encompass everything going on in the room, from the barber to the people waiting to the large statue of Mary to the picture of Jesus to all the stuff lying about to the funky chandelier . . .was to shoot in the mirror. It also allowed me to shoot everyone's face without pointing the camera directly at them, which can make people stiffen up and pose somehow. Cubans have fortunately not been overrun by tourists shoving their point-and-shoots in everyone's face; that's a benefit, I suppose, of the stupid US blockade of the island as well as the fact that the millions of European and Canadian tourists who come often remain mostly on the beaches, except for a few hours of riding the bus into the old city of Havana to buy an overpriced mojito. So they're pretty relaxed around photographers, especially when treated with respect. In this case, I was just walking along the street looking for interesting photos, and glimpsed this place from the outside. I went in, introduced myself to everyone, and asked if I could take some photos. No problem. I tried a variety of angles, but when I looked at them later on the computer, the only ones with any magic were the ones using the mirror. Let's hear it for mirrors!

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