On a weekend when many will be shocked and probably in reflective mood due to the tragedy in the United States a more restrained image from seems appropriate. This fisherman in Cuba, Trinidad is a portrait in concentration and reflective thought.
He is handlining and his catch is probably more important to him than most anglers. His main motivation is not pleasure, any fish he catches will almost certainly be for the table.
The importance of his success appears to be portrayed in his demeanour, all of his attention is concentrated on his line. I believe this produces a quite striking image, which appears enhanced in black and white. Desaturation of an image often produces a more stark and powerful image without the distraction of colour.
This gentleman was totally focussed on his task, he barely acknowledged my presence and merely gave me a curt nod when asked if his picture could be taken. His eyes rarely straying from the water in front of him, his fingers feeling his line lightly, sensitive to even the slightest tug from a potential meal.
Fishing plays a large part in the lives of Cuban people, not surprisingly for an island with a large coastline. Travelling across the country, especially in towns like Trinidad, Baracoa or Cienfuegos there are usually several fisherman scrambling over rocky shorelines or casting from seawalls.
Handlines seems to be the most popular weapon of choice but there are usually several fishing rods being cast or simple poles employed. More exciting is the more unexpected sight of a net fisherman throwing his light net into the powerful waves of the ocean.
This angler seems to exemplify the current culture of Cuba, people making the most of their situation and environment. The Caribbean island isn’t dressed up and made to look pretty for the benefit of visitors and many have learned to survive without the dollars of tourism.
His single minded concentration impressed me and the resulting image hopefully is a pleasing portrait of contemplation which does him justice. Not that he cares what any of us think.