Postcard from a Cuban net fisherman at sunset

Fishermen make great photography subjects, they usually sit still for long periods and are perfect studies in concentration. Most use poles, rods or handlines so finding a Cuban casting a net out is quite unusual.

This fisherman was using a net from the esplanade in Cienfuegos, Cuba and is just one of the dozens of characters we met on a journey through the Caribbean island. It is possibly my favourite destination visited for portrait photography.

The esplanade seems to be the main attraction in Cienfuegos, although there are a few bars, cafes, several restaurants and a couple of nightclubs but it is the attractive seafront which I enjoyed most. A casual stroll along its length and back takes around an hour, apart from the fishermen there are small groups chilling, especially as the sun is setting.

It is slightly reminiscent of the Malecón along the seafront at Havana but seems to have a more relaxed vibe about it. The long spit of land juts out into the Caribbean like a huge tarmac pier. The colourful classic cars and sidecars which travel up and down its length merely add to the appeal.

It also differs from the Malecón because buildings line both sides of the esplanade, including hotels and the Sailing Club. All of the buildings appear to be in a better state of repair then Havana, many still being developed and improving their facilities. The Sailing Club in particular has swimming pools, an outdoor restaurant which is perfect for enjoying those sunsets.

This fisherman displays the romance of travel, people carving out a living from the sea or land, meeting them and just for a moment sharing a little of their lives. The low light shot of a moving subject against the sunset was not easy to capture, flash would have ruined it completely. It provides a great memory of a special destination and one that I never tire of looking at.

Lone net fisherman on the esplanade at Cienfuegos, Cuba on Mallory on Travel adventure photography

Sunset fishing on the esplanade


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