One of the best things about being a photographer is where you end up. If I dod not take photographs, I probably would never visit some of the places that I stumble upon. Such is the ceremony of Yemanja in Brazil where the inhabitants of Salvador (and other cities) go down to the sea and offer flowers and prayers to Neptune, goddess of the sea. I had to get up at 4:00AM for this and I usually never and up at this time unless it has to do with taking pictures. When I arrived, the ceremonies were in full-force with people lighting candles, walking into the ocean, smoking weed and drinking beer. It was strange, very strange but fascinating all the same. I have never seen anything like it and probably never will—unless I return someday and that is always a possibility.
This is one of my oldest photographs, that I still like today. It was taken in 1983 when I went to Vancouver on my own for 3 weeks. I travelled to Vancouver and hung out with Brian for a week and then south to SF where I stayed with my friend Harvey. At that time i was feeling that my life was almost over. My marriage was crumbling, my job sucked, and I was feeling completely drained. In fact, it turned out quite the opposite—I was starting anew—although I did not know it at the time, my second life was about to begin. This photograph was taken on the BC ferry as i travelled to Gibsons to see an old friend from my youth.
New Orleans in one of my favorite cities. Not only can one get a great meal, almost anywhere in town, but there is always something to see, something going on, and something to make you stop and look. Where else can you stumble on Alice in Wonderland, chatting with her bunny?
Oh, did I ever mention that the Cuban people were some of the most wonderful people on the planet? When I visited, I expected to find dour miserable humorless folk,the same one would find in any other Communist country. Wrong again! They welcome you into their homes, they offer you coffees, show you their place of work, and try to talk to you even though they speak no English. It was impossible to walk down a street without some guy/woman coming up to you an asking where you are from. Every now and then someone would not want their photograph taken, but they politely asked you not to and always smiled. I think might be nice for a return soon—perhaps to on elf the many jazz festivals that are held each year.
One thing I liked about Havana was that there was always something happening on the street. Probably their homes were simple, crowded, or too hot—so thy liked to hang out on the street. I was fascinated by this woman just sitting on a chair reading her book, while the world walked by. She was oblivious to it all.
Its funny what ones first thought is when we wake up. Today I awake and thought of France—the Loire valley to be exact. I don’t know why, but that is what was in my head. Perhaps it will be because I will be traveling soon and I am getting a bit excited about it but on this sunny cool, Florida morning, I thought about this place. We visited it about 6 years ago and after arriving in Paris, We drove to this lovely hotel outside of Tours in a driving rainstorm. It took twice as long to get there as we planned because of the rain and all I could think about was what a way to start a holiday. I should know better. Just as we arrived at the hotel, the rain stopped and everything became really misty. It was lovely. Our room was in a small chalet in a forest—actually it was one of the nicest hotel rooms I had ever stayed in. We were exhausted and after a small dinner, we went to bed. In the morning, I awoke, grabbed my camera and walked out onto the balcony to witness this scene in front of me. It was splendid!
I miss Portugal. It is one of my favorite places in Europe. It is different from the other countries because it is simpler, a bit poorer and far more real. Sometimes I go to places in Italy and France and I think I am walking onto a movie set. Not this place though—its real, very real. The people are wonderful, the food is great and there are always places to visit. I do not remember the name of this town at all. It was somewhere north of Lisbon and we ended up here just before sunset. A long walk on the beach, a glass of wine in a small bar and a relaxing drive back to the hotel—what more is there to life?