When I go to Cuba I have made myself a special project. I am doing a visual diary. As mentioned in posts before, I have Cuba as a long term personal project, going there since 1991 most every year. The visual diary I started in 2000. As I am always looking for new ways to approach photography and express my vision – and most of all develop my photographic vision, I try different ways to force myself to go outside of the box, or push myself out of the comfort zone. The Cuba diary is one of those projects that does exactly that.
For this project I have given myself a very limited set of rules I need to comply with. First of all the pictures are shot with an analogue point-and-shoot camera. The reason for me to use film is that I don’t want to give myself the comfort of being able to check the result during the shooting process, as is one of the advantages with digital capture. In addition film has a different quality than digital imagery, and I want to have this old fashion feel to the result. Furthermore I can only take one – 1 – picture a day. No alternative exposures, no changing of the set ups or any back ups at all. It will all have to be there in that first frame. One frame per day while I am in Cuba.
That’s the physical limitations of the project. The pictures themselves are meant to capture my daily life while travelling in Cuba. So it’s really like a personal diary. A project about my own relationship with Cuba and les about Cuba in itself. The one picture a day is supposed to capture the essence of that day in some way or form. Because I am only allowed to shoot one picture each day, I am constantly on alert – whether this very moment is today’s picture or if I should wait for something better later on and then risk having to shoot something worse in the end. It’s quite a mental exercise, and some days actually quite stressful. Part of the deal is that I need to shoot something I don’t usually shoot, or do it in a way I don’t usually do. So it’s all a big experiment on my part, constantly challenging myself.
The pictures here are my visual diary from the latest trip to Cuba a month and a half ago. So instead of posting my «normal» pictures from this trip, I’ll show this special project instead. Because of its limitation and the restrictions I give myself, it’s given that every occation is not going to produce a strong picture. The point for me is really to use this project to push myself, as mentioned before, and that’s why I am showing it here. Maybe by showing it here, it can throw up in the air some ideas for others to pursue.