Cuban Street Life

They say a wide angle lens is like a drug; the more you have, the more you want!  You can get very creative and have a lot of fun with wide angle lenses but the fish eye is the most certainly the ultimate "drug".

Early evening chess battle  in Baracoa

Early evening chess battle  in Baracoa

I bought a 8mm fish eye lens before setting off on a trip to Cuba last Christmas. I wanted to capture the essence of Old Havana and other Cuban cities in a street photography style. Typically with street photography, the more discrete you are, the more interesting the photographs.  With my camera  just slung over my shoulder, sitting inconspicuously on my hip,  and my thumb at the ready on the shutter button, I watched for interesting scenes as I walked through the streets and snapped quietly as I passed.

A street trader takes an afternoon  siesta  under his produce in Old Havana

A street trader takes an afternoon siesta under his produce in Old Havana

I didn't have to worry about framing or composition as the fish-eye lens takes in so much - I just roughly pointed the camera in the right direction and shot a few frames.  It worked a treat!  No one ever noticed and life went on as normal.

Life before iPads in Old Havana; a girl plays with a rope while her Dad repairs shoes

Life before iPads in Old Havana; a girl plays with a rope while her Dad repairs shoes

The other great thing is that the focal length of the lens being so ridiculously wide, it offers us so much more of the surroundings in every scene. OK, so you get a lot of distortion around the edges but for me, that makes the images even more interesting!

See the full set of Cuban Street Life images from my Projects section.

All photos were taken with a Nikon D610 with a manual Samyang 8mm fish eye lens.