Cuba: Showing Your True Colors

As a career Travel Photographer, personally and commercially, it wouldn’t at all be much of a stretch, to say that my heightened sense of color in photography, was born across and through the borders and boundaries of countries and continents.

When you travel, as I have and still do, the destinations you frequent, tend to take on a color palette and vibe, often, quite different than the broad spectrum of colors you might enjoy at home.

In other words, as many travels and traveling photographers can organically attest to, your Passport is a backstage pass to a world of color that is, often, exotic, unusual, different, and unique.

Cuba ended up being quite a color mystery to me.

Typically, when I’m traveling, it doesn’t really take me more than 2-3 days, to get a sense of what the “color palette” of the venue is.

Red. Green. Blue. Orange. White. Etc.

As a photographer, once I figure this part out, and I make a sure-fire effort to figure it out, that color palette, whatever it turns out to be, turns into active vision, and I begin looking for those specific hues in the subjects, scenes and scenarios I capture.

But it didn’t quite work out like this in Cuba. I’m not quite sure why either?

Maybe it’s because Cuba is such a kaleidoscope of colors. Or maybe, instead, I was in a kaleidoscope of moods. Maybe both?

On some days, I could clearly see and feel the blues and greens, the cooler side of the color spectrum.

On other days, it was the reds, oranges, browns, and yellows, the warmer side of the color spectrum, that caught my eye.

Maybe there is no real true color of a place.

Maybe the veritable color of a place is what suits your emotions and bias, as you participate in the process and product of photography.

Maybe showing your true colors is more directive than reflective.

I still have no idea what the overriding color palette of Cuba is.

Maybe, for now, it’s a beautiful rainbow arch of colors, in the sky, that attempts to humbly celebrate diversity, universality, and intimacy, through its wonderful array of faces, places, and spaces.



Jack Hollingsworth